One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Account

In this week’s episode of AMC’s The Pitch, two agencies competed to work with Waste Management (WM). The mission was to educate consumers – specifically a younger demographic – about how they convert trash into energy. We’ve asked Linda Costa Communications Group employees to take turns sharing their thoughts on each episode. Up this week: Jenni.

Caution: Spoilers ahead.

SK+G’s “Trash Talk” ad blended traditional and new media perfectly. As soon as I saw it in action, I had a pretty good feeling that they’d win the account. It was clear that they honed in on WM’s goal of attracting a younger demographic by using new media. But, I was still rooting for The Ad Store. “Trash Can” was so simple (in retrospect, probably too simple) and clever (two WM executives commented on the immediate feeling it brought on). The guerrilla marketing photos (“What can power this apartment for three nights? Trash can.”) were smart and achieved WM’s goal of educating.

But there’s more to it than just ads. After seeing just two episodes, I’ve noticed a trend: The Pitch is about much more than winning accounts. The producers are also giving us a look at how agency life affects home life. In the first episode, we saw McKinney’s Liz Paradise balance motherhood and long hours. Last night, we witness the young son of SK+G’s Doug Hentges run outside crying after his father gets called back to the office (easily past 11 p.m. at this point). We also see a sensitive side of The Ad Store’s Paul Cappelli as he discusses his fear of failing.

Had this been a Hollywood movie, I think The Ad Store would’ve won the account. (Also, it’s worth noting that at the time of this blog post, 71 percent of voters on think they should have.) In my opinion, they were introduced as somewhat of an underdog. Cappelli shared that if they didn’t get the WM account, that they would probably be closed in three months. (Luckily, the last scene of the episode says that they did land a major account three days after losing WM.) Aside from being the underdog, Cappelli talked a lot about passion – specifically saying, “You can’t teach passion. You have to hire it.” That, and an employee’s observation that The Ad Store was like a “big family,” stood in stark contrast to SK+G’s obvious tension and constant power struggle between the two creative directors. Did anyone else expect the WM executives to comment on the latter? Watching the presentation from my couch was uncomfortable; I couldn’t imagine being in the boardroom.

What was your overall feeling about The Pitch?


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