Look, Mom! We’re on TV!
It’s no secret that we moved to Los Angeles so the dog could be discovered and made a star. When the lovely people of Pasadena Advertising asked me to work on the team featured in the AMC series, The Pitch, my first thought was to do the work and dodge the cameras—but the PADV office is dog-friendly and the Beast said: This could be my big chance!
Suffice it to say that we both signed waivers, got blowouts, and went to work.
The Pitch is a reality show wherein two agencies are pitted against one another in competition for a hefty account. In reality, of course, blow-outs are for the weekends and comprehensive campaigns aren’t 8 days in the making. And in reality, it’s an hour-long commercial for the client, but who cares! It was a blast.
The client was Tommy Bahama, flogging their women’s sportswear line. The direction was basically as follows:
• No Jimmy Buffet
• No Margaritaville
• Maintain the spirit of their slogan “Make life one long weekend.”
I was partnered with the amazingly talented art director Janina Lovern. We both understood that whether or not we were targeting actual Women of Leisure, that the brand expresses a sort of roaming and tousled dock-side entitlement, less prim than Lily Pulitzer; more vineyard-touring and yacht-sunsetting than garden party; but a sort of Money-Not-Messy Fuck-All-I’m-Very-Comfortable vibe. Go-Ahead-and-Wonder-Where-I-Got-My-Money-and-How-Old-I-Actually-Am.
This Ain’t No Life of Leisure
Janina and I did some major off-camera brainstorming; I went home and did my standard Sharpie wordplay brain dump and came up with a bunch of great language including the line: Where to next?
While I loved idea: Leisure looks good on you. or Doesn’t leisure look good on you?, leisure is such a crappy, awkward word, and so, on Real Live Actual Television, you can see me offer up: Where to next?, which ended up being the seed around which our campaign was built.
The campaign (chronicled by Pasadena Advertising here) was completely comprehensive and the team really went to town designing the web site, branded content catalog, display advertising, and a packing app—all of which brought dimension to the concept of Where to next?—really cultivating an aspirational appreciation of leisure, even if the next where is just a baby shower in your own backyard.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the producers teased out the most reductive storyline possible: Aging Mom-n-Pop Pasadena Advertising v. (Get this…) The Neuron Syndicate! Suffice it to say, we did not win—but our work was definitely better. Even the web critics agree. Just google it! (The Pitch, Season 2; Episode 4, Tommy Bahama)
And, yes, the Beast made the final cut—though he was disappointed it wasn’t a speaking part.