does anyone else watch The Pitch?

18 replies
so... one of my favorite shows is back for a new season... AMC's The Pitch.

My question is... does their editing just make traditional advertising agencies and copywriters within those agencies appear, well, moronic and to be a waste of money?

It's amazing... some of the ideas that these copywriters and even the creative directors come up with... my 6 year old son can write better advertising.

anyone else notice this? is it editing? are most ad agencies full of inept people?

You're going to have a room full of people sit around for hours... and all you
come up with is a new name for a moving company... "Heroic Moving"

It's funny... between watching reality shows like The Pitch, and fiction like
Mad Men... most people outside advertising must think that ad men
get paid millions to just come up with slogans and tag lines.
#pitch #watch
  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    I haven't seen the show, but having been involved in the Direct Response (Infomercial) industry for a number of years, I can say I was CONSTANTLY surprised by what copy "worked" on TV. Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan both used to shoot from the same studio my office was in, and a lot of the first season of Pitch Men and Shark Tank were done at our studio... the parade of bad products was endless.

    I think when the AUDIENCE is dumb, so must follow the sales copy. We did a shoot once for one of my products where we made a "money cannon" so it would rain dollar bills out of the sky. Awful game show style 30 minute infomercial that I swore would never work but I was over-ruled. It converted like crazy, and destroyed my faith in humanity.
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    • Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      We did a shoot once for one of my products where we made a "money cannon" so it would rain dollar bills out of the sky.
      I want to see the money cannon in action!

      Any video online?
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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      We did a shoot once for one of my products where we made a "money cannon" so it would rain dollar bills out of the sky. Awful game show style 30 minute infomercial that I swore would never work but I was over-ruled. It converted like crazy, and destroyed my faith in humanity.
      But it sounds like you got a lovely parting gift as a consolation prize.
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  • Profile picture of the author MouseandMice
    You'd be shocked what works on people. Testing goes both ways. In the same way that you have "armchair marketers" who work at firms and run stupid campaigns that will never work, you have "armchair IMers" who repeat what they read in some "guru's" ebook on copywriting and they are sure that anything but a salesletter doesn't sell.

    Neither are true.
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  • Profile picture of the author svedski
    I don't watch stuff that has the potential of influencing my mind negatively.
    Therefore, I do not watch "The Pitch".
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
    Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

    so... one of my favorite shows is back for a new season... AMC's The Pitch.
    Yeah... love the show too.

    Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

    You're going to have a room full of people sit around for hours... and all youcome up with is a new name for a moving company... "Heroic Moving".
    LOL. Plus both logos looked like they were "designed" by high schoolers. I couldn't f#@kin' believe how bad they were.

    Also I knew the "suit and tie" guys would lose from the get go 'cause ad guys don't wear suit and ties. It's fine if your niche is politics (which is/was their niche).

    Most of the pitches on this show make me uneasy. I'm always expecting them to be more polished... more powerful and convincing. It always feels like I'm watching their first pitch ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author samguy
    great info on this thread thanks a lot appreciated
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    LOL @ the "money shot", Ron.

    You comin' to orlando in a couple weeks with Ross?
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    • Profile picture of the author ronrule
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      LOL @ the "money shot", Ron.

      You comin' to orlando in a couple weeks with Ross?
      Yep, I'll be up at least for one of the days.

      You know, there's a funny story behind this shoot that you won't find on YouTube anymore. Originally we were talking to William Shatner's agent about potentially hiring him as the pitch man - he actually liked the product but he was out of our budget at the time. This was an all day shoot, so about half way through the day me and one of the other VP's decided we would hit up a local costume shop and rent a couple of Star Trek uniforms and sit in the audience - half as a tribute to him, and half so people watching it will say "Holy crap there are two jackasses in Star Trek uniforms sitting in the audience" and forward it around the Internet.

      So we go to the costume shop and as we walk in the door there's this movie quality Darth Vader suit on a mannequin and I'm like "Oh, I'm getting THAT" - so we rent the suit, they suit me up in the store and we drive back to the studio, and it literally takes 10 minutes to walk to the set because EVERYONE wants their picture taken with Vader. So we get through that, and I walk on the set and just sit down in the audience like there's nothing unusual about it, and Beau breaks character and starts yelling "You aren't my father!"

      That clip used to be on YouTube but as the brand evolved and took on a more professional edge they took it down.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
    This past week on the show, a cosmetic company was looking to promote one of their new hair removal products.

    And I found it interesting... the CEO of the cosmetics company asked one of the ad agency's what their "big idea" was.

    And the ad executive then proceeded to mumble some incoherent statement that had nothing to do with a "big idea".

    So when making the decision which ad agency to hire, the company execs made it clear that one ad agency had no big idea for their campaign.

    And I found that pretty interesting... because about an hour before watching that episode, I was reading Ogilvy on Advertising while waiting for a client... and there's a huge section in there about finding the big idea.

    He goes on to say "you will never win fame and fortune unless you also invent "big ideas".

    I know John Carlton talks about having a huge "hook" in your letter, and this could be along the lines of the big idea.

    But once again, it amazes me how some of these ad agencies who have been able to survive... often miss the most simple and fundamental parts of advertising.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

      And I found it interesting... the CEO of the cosmetics company asked one of the ad agency's what their "big idea" was.
      He asked because that agency (made up of mostly women) failed in their execution of the brief (a print ad). (It was an ugly confusing print ad.)
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      • Profile picture of the author shawnlebrun
        Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

        He asked because that agency (made up of mostly women) failed in their execution of the brief (a print ad). (It was an ugly confusing print ad.)
        Subtle.... do you know if the agencies are briefed on the company before they get there?

        I was just wondering, because I wasn't aware if they knew what kind of company they'd be pitching for.

        I just found it pretty ballsy that 2 guys would show up for a cosmetics pitch... I mean, i get that any pro can write for any market... but you'd still think they'd bring one of their female writers along.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
          Originally Posted by shawnlebrun View Post

          Subtle.... do you know if the agencies are briefed on the company before they get there?
          Obviously they know who the company is (and I doubt they will be briefed by the company as to who/what they are/do since the agencies can do their own research on/offline before the meeting), but they have no idea what the brief (the assignment) will be.
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  • Profile picture of the author G Allan Roberts
    I agree... There is a lot more advertising then just writing some fancy words. The job of a copywriter is to reach the core problem of the reader or viewer. Many times they are more concerned about the features of the product.
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