|The Pitch, Part 3: OMG, It's Not Your Spot...Or Is It?
By: Brian Keller
NOTE: “You” refers to both Art Director and Copywriter.
You went through a number of rounds of creative on your TV commercial. You were victorious. You won the internal competition. You went to Cincinnati. You were ready to be on “The Pitch” and ready to “stumble into a rapper” on YouTube rapping about pancakes. You would be ready to use him as a concept for the Subway chain. You were ready to have Subway call you genius. You would be on the cutting edge of advertising. You would study “The Pitch” to make sure that when you “had arrived” you would know how to be monosyllabic and vacant while you pitch fast-food chains. That didn’t happen. How could something like that happen?
Anyway, back to Angel Paste.
When we left Angel Paste, your idea was to split the day apart to bend reality and give people the impression that Angel Paste protection lasts for hours. It had warmth, no homosexuality, pretend poor people with good teeth, a mix of ethnicity, and no chance of anyone getting a lap dance. The people in Cincinnati were thrilled. Creative Director Graham (like any guy or gal on "The Pitch" but with the cool Brit accent) had said, “I like this idea. It has legs and could go viral. It needs wordsmithing and a tweak or two.”
After the Tweaking
Graham was informed that a show called “The Pitch” is now popular. The thought process that goes into the strategies on "The Pitch" amazed him. He theorized that if Mac Lethal could sell Subway and pancakes, he could sell the toothpaste. He called a meeting of the entire agency and congratulated himself on tweaking the concept. You weren’t in the meeting. You were writing inserts (newspaper and web) for a grocery-store account. You were doing four-color and were thrilled and elated all the while battling to make the splash page on the grocery-chain website higher resolution so the digital inserts would pop.
Graham flew Mac Lethal to Brazil to talk with your French director, who was chosen to (we always love this) to “lens your spot.” The French director told Graham that the integrity of the concept must be protected like a baby. That sold Graham. Mac Lethal was impressed and took on the writing of the rap and agreed to become the Executive Creative Director of Music Production. Your commercial came together. Graham and Mac licensed “A Day in the Life.”
I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky paste who made the taste
And though the news was rather Phat
Well, I just had to laugh. Yo, I could get whiter teeth in half the time
Just look at the QR code on the print materials and you’ll get the rhyme.
He whitened his teeth out in a car
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd never seen teeth like that before
Nobody was really sure if he was a movie star or that he’d just like to turn you on to*
*So, don’t push me I’m close to the edge
I’m trying to stay on the top of tooth technology.
Angel Paste. Angel Paste.
A tooth is a “terrible thang” to wastes.
Stay white my “brothas.”
*The above segue from "turn you on" to hardcore Grand Master Flash Graham’s “The Pitch” is genius brought to life. The agency licensed “The Message” as well.
Graham loved this; the test audience loved this. An Account Executive mentioned that the line “Stay white my brothas” may have been somewhat offensive. Graham didn’t see it. Graham saw it as the message that everyone would be united one day by whiter teeth and good breath. The Account Executive was fired. You’re right. She was an idiot. You couldn’t believe this was your commercial. It was, though. It was right out of “The Pitch.”
It was so good that Graham hired Public Enemy to perform it at his kid’s birthday party.
Post party, Graham and Mac Lethal flew to most of the continents to meet with French Director Yves. They discussed his vision of protecting the integrity of what you and Mac and Graham had done.
They didn’t mention you. That was okay. It was your spot they were tweaking.
The buzz was so great that the budget for production went over a million dollars and your little TV commercial went from a tactical to the voice of the brand.
Yves the Director decided, in the Seychelles, that to make the commercial street and viral they would shoot it on a phone in a garage in Hawaii. After a 16-week pre-production schedule, the spot was “realised” and edited in only seven months.
It went viral. It won every award. No one remembered the product’s name.
Graham and Mac Lethal are now directing the feature, based on the commercial, that is being made by the Weinstein Brothers. Robert Downey Jr. is playing all the characters.
You were moved off the Angel Paste account and on to foot cream — it's English, so you were actually moved to foot crème. Although you pitched internally, you’re studying “The Pitch" externally in case you ever see daylight again.
Read Parts One and Two here and here.
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.
Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.
He has built the creative departments at two agencies.
He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.
Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.