Advertising: where dreams become reality shows

pitchfork_5Mad Men ticks all the fictional advertising boxes on TV. And now Pitch, a new TV show that’s just been commissioned by TVNZ will focus on the ‘reality’.

Akin to the The Apprentice for advertising, Pitch will see sixteen 18-25-year-old creative hopefuls battle it out through a series of pitching competitions that will be judged by three industry experts (let the ‘who’s it gonna’ be’ speculation begin) and one guest client each week.

The two winners will land senior creative roles with $75,000 starting salaries and each will win a 25 per cent share in a brand new, fully-functioning, youth-centric ad agency.
And the first account this new agency will get stuck into is Hell Pizza, complete with a $1,000,000 advertising spend (hopefully that won’t have to be reduced if this goes any further).

Matt Blomfield, communications manager at Hell Pizza and co-owner of Pitch Television, says the reality show is about to turn the old advertising model on its head and he hopes that any brand needing to market to Gen C or Gen Y will be keen to talk to newly formed ‘The Agency’ after the show’s completion.

According to the Pitch pitch (warning: potential feather ruffling ahead): “It’s undisputed that the advertising world has a reputation for being glamorous, creative, exciting and very lucrative. Despite jobs in the industry being scarce and the competition for them fierce, images of big campaigns, boozy lunches, extravagant parties, awards and acclaim continue to spur on the 1000’s of young hopefuls who join the queue for a promise of the career that has it all.

“No longer will 40-somethings be trying to figure out what the ‘youth of today’ want. This agency will be run by the very demographic it wants influence. The advertising world as we know it is changing … Set in their ways and too focused on awards rather than results, many old-school advertising agencies are completely losing touch with the market. They are struggling to keep up with what Gen Y wants and how to sell to them and they are failing miserably at addressing their shortcomings.”

Not surprisingly, given the history of Hell Pizza’s ad campaigns and its management team’s cheeky disposition, there’s already been some controversy after a bit of a Pitch-related publicity stunt when Blomfield brought in the four students from the Auckland University of Technology to revitalise the brand, eventually settling on the controversial ‘at least our brownie won’t eat your pet dog’ billboard.

At the time, Matt Blomfield said: “All the advertising agencies are crap so we thought we’d let some kids have a crack.”
A46.2.cWarren Powell, Hell Pizza and Pitch co-owner says the envelope will definitely continue to be pushed on the show, but all material will be cleared by a ‘brand custodian’.

The show’s candidates will be selected via channels such as Bebo, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Hell stores and Hell marketing material. An advertising campaign will also be launched to attract hopeful candidates from across the country.

The show will run on Saturdays at 7.30pm starting in May and* will presumably include many shots of the sexy Auckland metropolis by night (maybe even from a helicopter), as well as many Hell-related pitchfork puns.

Check this story for the latest developments.

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