By Jillian Studdard
(From the West Haven Voice – May 31, 2012) West Haven native, Frank O’Brien is the founder of the Manhattan-based ad agency, Conversation, LLC that appeared on AMC’s “The Pitch” Sunday night at 11p.m.
The show consists of two agencies vying to win over a potential client based on pitches given by each prospective agency. The agency with the best pitch in the eyes of the client, wins the account.
O’Brien’s company, Conversation, LLC went up against Charlotte, North Carolina based ad agency, BooneOakley to win over the account, Popchips – one of the fastest growing snack companies in the country.
In January, O’Brien and his team flew to San Francisco for a briefing on what Popchips was looking for, he said. He and his team worked on the pitch for about a week and pitched it to Popchips for the show ten days later.
The responsibilities of the two agencies were to develop either a digital video or an interactive campaign that people will want to share.
BooneOakley came up with a myriad of interactive possibilities to present Popchips, such as a toy helicopter carrying a bag of chips, a Popchip flash mob and Popchip filled balloons in Grand Central Station.
Conversation, according to AMC’s website, attempted to create the world’s largest viral video. They wanted the campaign to encourage people to upload their favorite photos and videos into a single ever expanding viral video that would set the record for the most viral video shares in a single year.
O’Brien said he was apprehensive about seeing himself on television but he was really excited to showcase Conversation’s abilities.
“I’ve seen the episode,” he said. “It’s cool for people to learn about Conversation and to get the exposure.”
Growing up in West Haven, O’Brien attended West Haven High School and was involved in the West Haven Theatre Workshop.
Director of the WHHSTW, Margi Maher had the pleasure of working with O’Brien his senior year when he starred in the play “Archie Andrews” as Archie.
“He’s very funny, outgoing and kind,” Maher said. “He was one of those kids that you knew would do well. He worked very hard and I’m excited his life is going well.”
As O’Brien got older he said he didn’t want to perform but was still interested in the entertainment industry. He was more concentrated on the business aspect of things. He succeeded, and got to work with big names such as Kanye West, Usher and The Killers in the process.
After starting Conversations, LLC in 2008, his company has become “The Hot Creative Agency to Watch,” a Webby Award winner and a regular contributor to Trade Publications (such as AdAge and Media Post.)
“I name dropped West Haven about five times [on the show” O’Brien said. “West Haven had so much to do with my upbringing and I wanted to do it justice.”
His agency tends to clients in the areas of retail, skin care, health care, technology and quick service restaurants. He helps brand and market clients such as L’Oreal, The Children’s Place and Hearst Communications to name a few.