Sep 18, 2019
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Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: AMC’s The Pitch. Or, why I’m grateful my parents are dead.

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

My parents never understood what I did in for a living. Do yours? They’d ask me, “What is it you do again?… You think up those cute commercials?… They pay you for that?” Said with a certain contained disdain meaning, “All that education for nothing.” Shoot me.

Well thankfully they didn’t catch AMC’s The Pitch – the new reality show that pits two legitimate advertising agencies against one another, in this case, WDCW-Los Angeles and McKinney-North Carolina, to compete to win a project from a major client – a breakfast project from Subway.

Guessing you’ve seen shows such as Celebrity Apprentice or The World’s Biggest Loser, you already know the drill for The Pitch. Key in the same format, cue the hackneyed music, the familiar editing style and predictable close of winners and losers, and you’ve got the idea. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it later.

Untitled1

But the question The Brief asks is this: why is advertising so rich to mine for other forms of entertainment – think Bewitched with Elizabeth Montgomery; Lover Come Back with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, (1961); the hilariously dark Putney Swope; What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and so on and so on, yet, as The Pitch proves, so dreadful to watch in reality?

The Brief turned to the teachings of Marshall McLuhan for insight. McLuhan says, “…the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”* I think I can use that. Follow me.

If you’re in the creative department of an advertising agency, we all share this experience. We’re in our offices brainstorming through the maze of mind graffiti when the CEO walks by with a new client. He/She wants to show off the creative department, and in that moment the client catches you and your partner throwing paper airplanes into the recycling bin. We may be in a state of terror. Having not come up with the ‘big idea’. But it looks like we’re having so much fun.

Now put that moment on a reality TV series, and how do we look? Like all the corny cliches of advertising creatives, is how. And that’s why our creative process should not be truncated into an hour-long reality television show. It’s simply the wrong medium.

So we experience the creatives in The Pitch, particularly the young creatives from McKinney, as facile and just a little ridiculous, as they passionately cling to their bad ideas. To wit, McKinney’s Chief Creative Director, Jonathan Cude, explains how hard it is to come up with something creative within all the limitations. In this case, 6 days to win Subway’s breakfast project.

And though McKinney’s work doesn’t thrill, to say the least, it does win the business at the end. They pulled a rapper off the internet and basically promised appetite appeal. Competing agency, WDCW’s Tracy Wong, formerly of Wong Doodey, had a smarter, edgier campaign but it didn’t fly.

Surely my reservations about this show are like preaching to the choir. The Pitch is a synapse of an excuse for entertainment, and launching it after the delectable ‘Mad Men’ only reinforces how we think we can manipulate the audience.

And let’s talk about the audience for a moment. Unlike all the reality show clones, The Pitch breaks with format when it comes to audience participation. The audience, (AKA/the consumer,) doesn’t get a chance to vote on the campaign they like the best. Which is a real mistake – marketing wise. Because isn’t it a lot like having the largest focus group in history? So wouldn’t their opinion sort of matter? 

In reality, advertising as the content and protagonist makes for a dull half-hour. Without Don and Megan and Betty and Pete and Peggy and Roger and Joan forget about it. Even Mad Men’s vintage advertising pitches are a major snore.

The Brief votes The Pitch off the island. Hopefully before your parents get to see it.

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION

*What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?
By Mark Federman, Chief Strategist
McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology
http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm

**A great fast food idea from Wendy’s circa 1980’1 “Where’s the beef?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0pb8QyB9iM/

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

http://to411daily.com/catalog/the-brief/

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Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: AMC’s The Pitch. Or, why I’m grateful my parents are dead.

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

My parents never understood what I did in for a living. Do yours? They’d ask me, “What is it you do again?… You think up those cute commercials?… They pay you for that?” Said with a certain contained disdain meaning, “All that education for nothing.” Shoot me.

Well thankfully they didn’t catch AMC’s The Pitch – the new reality show that pits two legitimate advertising agencies against one another, in this case, WDCW-Los Angeles and McKinney-North Carolina, to compete to win a project from a major client – a breakfast project from Subway.

Guessing you’ve seen shows such as Celebrity Apprentice or The World’s Biggest Loser, you already know the drill for The Pitch. Key in the same format, cue the hackneyed music, the familiar editing style and predictable close of winners and losers, and you’ve got the idea. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it later.

Untitled1

But the question The Brief asks is this: why is advertising so rich to mine for other forms of entertainment – think Bewitched with Elizabeth Montgomery; Lover Come Back with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, (1961); the hilariously dark Putney Swope; What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and so on and so on, yet, as The Pitch proves, so dreadful to watch in reality?

The Brief turned to the teachings of Marshall McLuhan for insight. McLuhan says, “…the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”* I think I can use that. Follow me.

If you’re in the creative department of an advertising agency, we all share this experience. We’re in our offices brainstorming through the maze of mind graffiti when the CEO walks by with a new client. He/She wants to show off the creative department, and in that moment the client catches you and your partner throwing paper airplanes into the recycling bin. We may be in a state of terror. Having not come up with the ‘big idea’. But it looks like we’re having so much fun.

Now put that moment on a reality TV series, and how do we look? Like all the corny cliches of advertising creatives, is how. And that’s why our creative process should not be truncated into an hour-long reality television show. It’s simply the wrong medium.

So we experience the creatives in The Pitch, particularly the young creatives from McKinney, as facile and just a little ridiculous, as they passionately cling to their bad ideas. To wit, McKinney’s Chief Creative Director, Jonathan Cude, explains how hard it is to come up with something creative within all the limitations. In this case, 6 days to win Subway’s breakfast project.

And though McKinney’s work doesn’t thrill, to say the least, it does win the business at the end. They pulled a rapper off the internet and basically promised appetite appeal. Competing agency, WDCW’s Tracy Wong, formerly of Wong Doodey, had a smarter, edgier campaign but it didn’t fly.

Surely my reservations about this show are like preaching to the choir. The Pitch is a synapse of an excuse for entertainment, and launching it after the delectable ‘Mad Men’ only reinforces how we think we can manipulate the audience.

And let’s talk about the audience for a moment. Unlike all the reality show clones, The Pitch breaks with format when it comes to audience participation. The audience, (AKA/the consumer,) doesn’t get a chance to vote on the campaign they like the best. Which is a real mistake – marketing wise. Because isn’t it a lot like having the largest focus group in history? So wouldn’t their opinion sort of matter? 

In reality, advertising as the content and protagonist makes for a dull half-hour. Without Don and Megan and Betty and Pete and Peggy and Roger and Joan forget about it. Even Mad Men’s vintage advertising pitches are a major snore.

The Brief votes The Pitch off the island. Hopefully before your parents get to see it.

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION

*What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?
By Mark Federman, Chief Strategist
McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology
http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm

**A great fast food idea from Wendy’s circa 1980’1 “Where’s the beef?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0pb8QyB9iM/

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

http://to411daily.com/catalog/the-brief/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

THE BRIEF: AMC’s The Pitch. Or, why I’m grateful my parents are dead.

By TO411Daily Columnist
Linda Chandler

My parents never understood what I did in for a living. Do yours? They’d ask me, “What is it you do again?… You think up those cute commercials?… They pay you for that?” Said with a certain contained disdain meaning, “All that education for nothing.” Shoot me.

Well thankfully they didn’t catch AMC’s The Pitch – the new reality show that pits two legitimate advertising agencies against one another, in this case, WDCW-Los Angeles and McKinney-North Carolina, to compete to win a project from a major client – a breakfast project from Subway.

Guessing you’ve seen shows such as Celebrity Apprentice or The World’s Biggest Loser, you already know the drill for The Pitch. Key in the same format, cue the hackneyed music, the familiar editing style and predictable close of winners and losers, and you’ve got the idea. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it later.

Untitled1

But the question The Brief asks is this: why is advertising so rich to mine for other forms of entertainment – think Bewitched with Elizabeth Montgomery; Lover Come Back with Doris Day and Rock Hudson, (1961); the hilariously dark Putney Swope; What Women Want starring Mel Gibson and so on and so on, yet, as The Pitch proves, so dreadful to watch in reality?

The Brief turned to the teachings of Marshall McLuhan for insight. McLuhan says, “…the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.”* I think I can use that. Follow me.

If you’re in the creative department of an advertising agency, we all share this experience. We’re in our offices brainstorming through the maze of mind graffiti when the CEO walks by with a new client. He/She wants to show off the creative department, and in that moment the client catches you and your partner throwing paper airplanes into the recycling bin. We may be in a state of terror. Having not come up with the ‘big idea’. But it looks like we’re having so much fun.

Now put that moment on a reality TV series, and how do we look? Like all the corny cliches of advertising creatives, is how. And that’s why our creative process should not be truncated into an hour-long reality television show. It’s simply the wrong medium.

So we experience the creatives in The Pitch, particularly the young creatives from McKinney, as facile and just a little ridiculous, as they passionately cling to their bad ideas. To wit, McKinney’s Chief Creative Director, Jonathan Cude, explains how hard it is to come up with something creative within all the limitations. In this case, 6 days to win Subway’s breakfast project.

And though McKinney’s work doesn’t thrill, to say the least, it does win the business at the end. They pulled a rapper off the internet and basically promised appetite appeal. Competing agency, WDCW’s Tracy Wong, formerly of Wong Doodey, had a smarter, edgier campaign but it didn’t fly.

Surely my reservations about this show are like preaching to the choir. The Pitch is a synapse of an excuse for entertainment, and launching it after the delectable ‘Mad Men’ only reinforces how we think we can manipulate the audience.

And let’s talk about the audience for a moment. Unlike all the reality show clones, The Pitch breaks with format when it comes to audience participation. The audience, (AKA/the consumer,) doesn’t get a chance to vote on the campaign they like the best. Which is a real mistake – marketing wise. Because isn’t it a lot like having the largest focus group in history? So wouldn’t their opinion sort of matter? 

In reality, advertising as the content and protagonist makes for a dull half-hour. Without Don and Megan and Betty and Pete and Peggy and Roger and Joan forget about it. Even Mad Men’s vintage advertising pitches are a major snore.

The Brief votes The Pitch off the island. Hopefully before your parents get to see it.

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION

*What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?
By Mark Federman, Chief Strategist
McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology
http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm

**A great fast food idea from Wendy’s circa 1980’1 “Where’s the beef?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0pb8QyB9iM/

—–

Comment to Linda at this address: thebrief@to411.com.
LinkedIn // Facebook // Twitter

http://to411daily.com/catalog/the-brief/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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