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Posts Tagged ‘Ray Johnson’

‘The Pitch’ Season Finale Recap: Jones Fights Bandujo for Marriott Autograph Collection

With the season one finale in the bag, it seems very unlikely that AMC’s The Pitch will get renewed for another go-around. After all, has a show averaging less than 50,000 viewers 18-49 in its first season ever been brought back for another? Even if you watched the show every week, would you really miss it if it never returned?

Over the past weeks, I’ve posed a multitude of theories for why The Pitch just doesn’t work. Sure, it can be easy to say that advertising’s totally boring to those outside the industry, but haven’t we seen countless shows about other utterly boring occupations somehow take off on cable? Storage Wars, anyone?

If I had to narrow it all down, I would say the show’s biggest problem is that it just didn’t do reality TV right. Reality TV fans want people who are relatable, and showing an ad exec play with his kid for 30 seconds out of an hour-long show isn’t going to cut it for them. It’s just not personal enough to make viewers care about these people and their successes/failures.

Meanwhile, advertising professionals know that when they come to work, especially during a hectic pitch, they have to leave their emotional baggage at the door. Complaining is a sign of weakness, and the more someone bitches and moans about their work, the more they’re hated for bringing down the whole agency. But, this stoic personality that we’re conditioned to have while at the agency just doesn’t work on reality TV. We want to see great work and thinking, while the typical TV viewer wants to see people get emotional. There just wasn’t enough of it on The Pitch to make either type of viewer happy.

But, would AMC go for broke with the season finale of The Pitch, showing that yes, they can in fact turn out compelling storylines, interesting individuals and groundbreaking marketing strategies? It tries, using two foolhardy agency presidents to make or break the case for marketing megalomania. [SPOILERS AHEAD]

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AMC’s ‘The Pitch’ Recap: Womenk!nd Battles DIGO for C. Wonder

In a bit of a nice surprise, we had our first true villain on last night’s episode of AMC’s The Pitch since episode two’s Machiavellian creative director, Ray Johnson. I’m not exactly sure who deserves more praise for this: The Pitch‘s producers or the rude, impossible-to-please client, Chris Burch. Unless my eyes deceive me, I’d have to go with the latter, because that kind of perpetual condescension can’t be derived through clever editing.

Throughout the episode, Burch insults both agencies to the point that winning his clothing brand, C. Wonder, didn’t seem like much of a “win” at all. Burch, a serial entrepreneur best-known for starting women’s fashion label Tory Burch with his now ex-wife, has been facing some flack from the fashion community as of late. Since divorcing his wife, Burch stayed on as co-chair of Tory Burch, stepping down in March amid accusations that his new brand (and subject of this episode), C. Wonder, was a little too similar to his wife’s, leading to consumer confusion. So, did either agency have a clever enough campaign to make C. Wonder stand out? (As always, SPOILERS AHEAD!)

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The Pitch Recap: The Ad Store and Kovel/Fuller Fight for Frangelico

Before we dive into episode 5 of AMC’s The Pitch, I’d like to address two articles posted on Ad Age in the last week. The first, by PJA Advertising and Marketing’s CEO, Phil Johnson, seeks to address what he feels is the show’s biggest problem: That it portrays an outdated business model. Johnson argues that the show reduces the advertising industry to a caricature saying, “Senior people fret and worry, while junior teams do all the work. Worse yet, in some cases those junior teams get pitted against each other while those senior people condescendingly dismiss their ideas. Consistently, the client gets the least value from the most experienced and presumably expensive staff.”

Now, I don’t necessarily think that this is a problem with The Pitch. This is a problem with the industry as a whole, and no matter how many agency CEOs mug in front of the camera and talk about how their company’s processes are “different,” you’ll find that their employees say something quite the opposite. Scan our comment section sometime for validation.  Instead, I would argue that The Pitch‘s biggest problem is that it’s mind-numbingly boring for anyone outside of the industry. As my girlfriend said during last night’s episode, “I love reality shows where two teams compete. I mean, I’ll watch and enjoy Storage Wars. But, I can’t watch this.”

The second big problem, of course, is that no one is actually watching The Pitch. Ad Age ran the numbers, and found that a mere 148,000 people in the all-important 18-49 demo watched the show last week. However, due to AMC’s slim amount of original programming, the show will most likely complete its entire eight-episode season instead of getting pulled from the air early. I guess they figure re-running Breaking Bad season four isn’t going to top a regular viewership the size of Joliet, Illinois. So, how is AMC hoping to attract viewers, aside from moving the show’s timeslot so that new episodes air right after Mad Men? Well, why not bring back The Ad Store, the losing agency from just three episodes ago? (Like always, spoilers ahead!)

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‘The Pitch’ Recap: FKM Fights The Hive for Clockwork Home Services

Compared to last week’s battle for the Waste Management account,  episode three of AMC’s The Pitch was quite tame. We didn’t get any office in-fighting, nor any neglected children, nor anyone fitting the villainous depiction of SK+G’s ruthless creative director, Ray Johnson. But, we did find comfort in the fact that sometimes, even if it’s only once in a great while, the client picks the better concept at the end of the day.

And we still got to see people cry. Oh man, did we ever get to see people cry. (SPOILERS AHEAD!)

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AMC’s ‘The Pitch’ Recap: SK+G Battles the Ad Store for Waste Management

Despite a full-length “sneak preview” that aired in early April, last night marked the official premiere episode of AMC’s ad agency reality show, The Pitch. And, compared to the sneak preview (which pitted McKinney against WDCW for a Subway assignment), the battle for the Waste Management account was much more jam-packed with office drama, in-fighting, ominous music, and surprise twists. Of course, from an advertiser’s perspective, this made it all the more frustrating, albeit compelling, to watch. (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD)

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