What’s the pitch in “The Pitch”?


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the-pitch-logo1-160x120As the owner of a small advertising agency, it’s my responsibility, and frankly my passion to stay atop changing trends and exciting news in the industry. Also, as a small business owner, I find myself working long hours, sometimes unattached from the media world around me. Slightly ironic to say the least. Recently, I stumbled upon a show on AMC called “The Pitch.” The show follows two advertising agencies in each episode as they fight for a top-notch client. Clearly, this is my industry, so it caught me off guard to see my career, highlighted in a 1-hour television series for my own viewing pleasure.

As I’ve talked with friends and family who don’t work in this industry, the show is somewhat boring to them. But, I find it interesting and almost exciting to watch. I can watch how other shops run, and make comparisons to how I run mine….I’m pretty sure anyone in this business would agree…there’s never one right way to skin a cat. But I’m curious about the show’s intent. Why are large scale clients signing on board to have this all taped? Is it that it’s been whittled down, and the two agencies competing are the two best for the client, or is the client more interested in the opportunity to have their business showcased in an 1-hour long infomercial of sorts? I guess the intent could be different for both groups, but leaves me wondering…once again, as it’s “reality” TV.

In the first episode I watched, we witness a company who clearly defines their target market as women… all about women, everything tailored to women…all they could talk about were women. And we then watch two agencies compete…one completely run by women and focused on the marketability to women (who came to the table with an amazing presentation and pitch, by the way), the other run by men, who clearly have limited experience with the marketability to women and how to reach them. Their presentation (or what we saw of it) to me, was mediocre to say the least, yet they come out victorious and win the client (personally, the ladies of WomenKind, you got screwed). Even, after the client said out of the gate “I hate that tagline.” Wait a minute…you hate the tagline the group suggest, after you warn them prior to their presentation that they better “bring it” considering how great the female run shop presented…yet you still sign on? But what’s interesting to me, is I can’t find this to be true representation of the way this industry works. Again, my shop is created a bit differently, and there are obvious differences between the shops on Madison Avenue, versus those of us down here in the country, in Tennessee. I guess in some respects it shows you that one great idea, one great concept, can change the world. But, when you only have two choices (or so it appears) you’re not changing the world, your settling for they hype. Reality, or the perception of reality wins again.