Bidding commercials and video production can be a very frustrating process and can feel sometimes like it’s hardly worth the trouble. Usually this is because the one party hasn’t communicated enough about expectations or the other just hasn’t asked enough questions.

Some clients give us a script and detailed expectations about they want bid. This makes our job easy. Others don’t really know exactly what they want and have not committed to a budget. This makes it a lot harder for us to bid.

Having worked as both a producer on the production side of the business and the advertising agency side of the business I’ve seen both sides of the process and sympathize with my customers.

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Best practices for many companies dictates that they blind bid 3 vendors with a focus on cost. This can be the most difficult to bid because there are many ways to control cost, most of which don’t provide the best quality product. These are the ones many of us in the business don’t really like to participate in. We get the least amount of information about specifically what were bidding and we’re somehow supposed to win an apples vs oranges bid.

I think the best way for a company or agency to get the best out of a vendor is to give a production company a budget range, be very specific about what you’d like the end product to be and ask them for pitch and not just a tally of numbers. Then you’ll actually get to see the company’s problem solving, creative ideas and how they will innovate to get you the film you were hoping for produced. Good luck on your next bid.