And Everything Else I Need To Know I Learned From The Pitch…

I am not a fan of reality shows, in general I find their premise ridiculous. They want you to believe that people are in mortal danger, making important life decisions or having spontaneous heartfelt discussions (or meltdowns) all while under the watchful eye of production and camera crews… what nonsense. I have however made some room in my skepticism for a couple of shows – Shark Tank, which I mentioned previously (on 3-19-12), and our fairly recent discovery: The Pitch. We devoured the eight episodes of season 1 and are looking forward to season two. Each show closely follows two ad agencies as they compete and create their pitch to win the business from a national client.
The show is, among many other things, an exceptional demonstration of the art of creative brainstorming, of what happens when creative minds mash up against deadlines and competition. This is how the pros do it, in something they call tissue sessions – the good, the bad and the ugly. (Ronnie long ago worked in the ad dept of Dayton-Hudson, Target’s parent company, and they always referred to the agency people as the “screamers and hair pullers”…you can see why).  I always end up with a pad of paper in my hand when we watch the show…
“We’re in the business of selling ideas”
“We spend our time listening to the brand because it has to be about them, not us.”
“You need new clients coming in the front door faster than old ones are going out the back door.”
“All customer briefs (the project requests) are inherently different even though they may appear to be the same.”
“Anyone can come up with a great idea at any time – what’s hard is giving them ideas that are realistic and producible enough that they can actually be launched.”
These are some quotes that I have written down during different episodes. Compared to what we do in art licensing this is presentation on steroids, but the principles are the same. Listening to your customer and delivering fresh, workable ideas developed with a client focus – this is the difference between winning and losing. Sometimes you can just see them going wrong. Clarity is the name of the game – a single well developed and clear message generally wins out over a complex multi-faceted one.
I have saved one of the best quotes for last:
“So often Creative (dept) has an idea that is really cool, but that’s all it is – unfortunately beyond cool you need to have content and a strategy to make it work”

Ain’t it the truth…let’s watch and learn.

3 replies
  1. BJ Lantz
    BJ Lantz says:

    While I really like Shark Tank, I can’t watch The Pitch ~ reminds me WAY too much of my former life in advertising. Yup, I worked in the art department for a large ad agency and lived that for many, many years. I’d rather watch Project Runway, LOL


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