If you are a fan of Mad Men, of fantastic Reality TV, or just a fan of pure real drama, you have to watch The Pitch. The Pitch is a new reality drama from AMC. The show focuses on the high stakes world of advertising agencies. Each episode stands on its own as two different ad agencies are pitted against each other in an attempt to score a huge account. Both companies are given a week to come up with and pitch their ideas to the clients with a winner being announced. This show is simply fantastic. It encompasses all that “ad drama” from Mad Men and throws in a modern day reality spin to it. Each episode is riveting as you see the stages these highs takes ad men go through. From receiving the assignment, to eyeing down their competition, to the struggle of coming up with ideas, to the mad dash of getting the campaign done on time and finally the pitch to the client. These are not some small ad agencies and small clients. We are talking about national brands like Subway and Waste Management.
In my opinion, two fascinating things hit me while watching this show (which is into its first season). The first is that Don Draper lives on. For those of who you don’t watch Mad Men for some reason, I am referring to the 60s and 70s mythical Ad Men. The lead pitchmen and idea guys for these agencies are ruthless. The heads of these firms force their employees to work through the night, even taking away their cell phones. These ruthless leaders of our nation’s top ad agencies walk around like they are gods refusing to smile until they are satisfied with what they hear. I honestly didn’t think these mythical and iconic individuals still existed but I was wrong.
The second thing that really stood out to me was just how creative and quick these people were. Teams of individuals are able to bust out complete ad campaigns and unique and innovative ideas within hours. The entire prep for the actual pitch is only a week long. Without sleep and often food, these creative teams create complete concepts out of thin air with every angle and concern taken care of. What is even more amazing is that they often present numerous ideas to their bosses in case their first attempt fails. And while creative teams are often pitted against each other, we see the ruthlessness amongst them as well.
If you are not impressed then why don’t you just watch the first five minutes of an episode, give yourself a week and see what ideas you come up. There is an additional fascinating thing that caught my eye. It was so interesting how different firms interpret the client’s needs and just how different their concepts were.
I am done rambling on. If you don’t go watch this show you are stupid and who knows, perhaps the next time you walk into a restaurant or store and see that company’s slogan, you may just start to think about how that concept was created.