Our last prediction post. One more episode to go, at least until season 2 (just kidding). We may be the minority here, but we have stuck with this show for its entirety. For those keeping tabs, we have been 2 for 7 with our predictions.
Onto our analysis - the final episode features Bandujo Advertising (?not on Twitter?) and Jones Advertising@jonesads competing for Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The Autograph Collection is one of the biggest accounts on the show:
The Autograph Collection is a remarkable group of upper upscale and luxury independent hotels. These iconic properties are located in dynamic gateway cities and preferred destinations worldwide. Each one is unique, one of a kind and with its own distinct perspective.
There’s only thirty-four of these boutique hotels in the hippest cities across the globe. According to the teaser, the brief is to build awareness for the Autograph Collection. Marriott has been expanding this relatively new luxury line of hotels (started in 2010) by acquisition or marketing agreements of designer hotels across the globe. They hope to have 60 by years end. The room rates are generally premium and a big part of Marriott’s rewards program. Marriott is attracting hotel owners to join in this nameplate by not enforcing strict brand rules- allowing local hotelier visionaries to have access to an international marketing and booking system, while keeping their unique character intact.
From watching the teaser, not that we trust any of the editing of the show or the teasers, this episode looks to have a lot of drama. In our office, we consider drama to be the enemy of creativity, so don’t expect brilliance from either shop in the whirlwind 1 week prep time frame.
Reviewing each agency’s website, they both have plugs for The Pitch. Bandujo features it prominently on the top of their site while Jones has a subtle post about it in their news section. Jones appears to focus on video and production in their portfolio and with a lot of Seattle based clients. They have an adorable ad for PetSmart. Bandujo draws New York-based companies, and have a few public service announcement ads that are shockinglyeffective.
Neither agency seems to be particularly web-savvy on their own, with little searchable content. Jones has a twitter account that’s been mostly ignored, Bandujo doesn’t seem to have one at all. Budujo has two “partner” firms- one a digital shop and the other is an interior designer which is a bit different, but may help with hooking into the hoteliers. They’ve also done work for Conde Naste- and Disney Vacation club, hinting at a bit more hospitality/lifestyle awareness.
Would either of these agencies be first choice of a luxury hotel brand? Probably not. DIGO from episode 7 had worked with Hard Rock, and there were probably other agencies that I’d trust more from the series with this account. McKinney had Audi for a few years, The Ad Store’s Paul Cappelli is pretty worldly and did well on his two appearances to those of us in the industry. As we’ve said all along, a good agency search consultant would be a huge plus to this show, along with giving the agencies a bit more time to develop their pitches.
For our prediction, we’re going to go with Bandujo. From a review of their work they seem to be better suited for Marriott as well as being a NY firm for a client in Bethesda Maryland. That being said, we haven’t had the best record of predicting these episodes.
Considering we actually liked episode 7, here’s to hoping that this final episode is the best one of the season. Look for our post show review to be posted by Tuesday night.
Next week’s The Pitch, (@ThePitch_AMC) episode 3, will feature two ad agencies competing to win Clockwork Home Services as a client. The contenders are The Hive (@The_hive) from Toronto and FKM (@FKMAgency), located in various office in Texas. From the teaser the assignment will be for three different brands; Mister Sparky, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and One Hour Heating and Air Cooling. They hint at the the briefing - “The task is to develop a tri-branded, integrated promotion that will drive customers to call one of our brands.” The first two episodes have had some pretty tough assignments to crank out in one week, but this one may take the cake. It’s not clear whether or not it will be a complete rebranding or a new ad campaign, but either way it’s a daunting task.
Just like an ad-centric Oscar party, we’re making our prediction on this episode; The Hive will emerge victorious. Why? Looking at their site, The Hive is building “buzz” (pun intended) about The Pitch allover the place, whereas FKM only has a few mentions Only the winning agency promotes the hell out of the show? It worked that way for episode 2.
On the other hand, our pattern recognition mode has been switched on and we see that FKM’s About page is very similar in concept to the About page on SK+G’s website; right down to the rollover animation on the photos. This makes them seem a bit more quirky and web-savvy–traits that have won the previous two clients on The Pitch. We are still going with The Hive as the victor, but it could go either way.
Perhaps also worth noting is that one of the clients featured on FKM’s website is Waste Management. Yep, the very same WM from Episode 2. Intriguing…does this mean that FKM was scrapped (pun intended) by WM? This begins to raise questions about how and why AMC picked the agencies that they picked; the connections are a little too apparent.
We at The Next Wave believe in deep insight based creativity and after seeing a few of The Pitches, we’ve become a bit pessimistic. We’re also fairly certain that the ad agency with the best pitch will not be chosen. Look for the best showmanship and razzle dazzle, not the agency with the profound concept.
We’re looking forward to the premier episode of “The Pitch” on AMC. Not that we believe that the way the show is cut together really shows how great advertising is done, but because we are students of the craft of advertising and always are interested in the process of creating ads- or even spec work (which we always think is a bad idea).
The pilot episode was a pitch for Subway’s breakfast business, where the brief focused the agency work on the 18-24 crowd. As almost always is the case, the quality of the brief guides the work. How Subway decided that they needed to reach 18-24 year olds to sell more breakfast sandwiches was never substantiated which really should have been the first question the agencies asked.
The two brave agencies that went boldly where the truly huge agencies wouldn’t were McKinney in North Carolina and WDCW from California. Both have a substantial portfolio of work and are proven shops capable of doing great work. Subway’s exec team tipped their hand early, showing disrespect for WDCW’s previous work for Quiznos. Almost predictably, McKinney “won” the piece of business, but considering Subway’s never been known for producing any award winning work, it’s just dollars to the bottom line and a great chance for McKinney to get some self promotion.
Which brings us to the “premier” episode for Waste Management. Without talking trash, this isn’t exactly the kind of account that agencies hope to win Cannes hardware with. The two agencies in round two- SK+G from Las Vegas and The Ad Store from NYC aren’t as well known or respected as the round one agencies by their peers. Spend a little time on their sites and you’ll still not know very much about what makes them tick. You’ll also notice that while SK+G has lots of mentions of “The Pitch” on their site, The Ad Store doesn’t mention a thing. Foreshadowing? We’ll see. Neither site shows much prowess at Web 2.0 or social media, so maybe these are the right agencies to pitch Waste Management, who does mention The Pitch on their site. In fact, you’ll probably learn more about Waste Management on their site than you will about the agencies pitching on theirs.
One always should wonder about these “clients” using “The Pitch” as their hiring vehicle. Who is their current agency? Why are they playing spin the bottle for an agency on national television? It’s our belief and experience that the best advertising comes from long term relationships with clients that work with their agency like a respected partner. This show is about as far away from that as it comes.
We’ll have more on Episode 2 after it airs. Anyone else want to bet on the winner now?
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