(From The New Haven Register – May 7, 2012) Submitted for your approval, one Frank O’Brien, ad agency executive in charge of media.
Sounds like the “Walking Distance” opening from “The Twilight Zone,” or maybe “Mad Men,” but O’Brien is a real ad man and West Haven native who will be featured on television Monday when his agency competes for an account on AMC’s reality show “The Pitch.”
CEO and founder O’Brien is curious to see how he and his 5-year-old agency, which is called The Conversation, are depicted in the series.
“I’m actually interested to see how they spin us. … We don’t have much drama in our agency. We have a pretty fun-loving group, and we go about our work pretty (cooperatively). I saw the first two episodes (one of which featured Milford-based Subway) and I saw how they positioned some people.”
O’Brien’s Conversation agency, which employs 45 and has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Kansas City, is pitted against BooneOakley, a more established Charlotte, N.C., agency whose clients include Flexjet and CarMax. They’re pitching an ad campaign to officials of Popchips, billed as the top-selling line of popped chips and among the fastest-growing line of snacks in the country.
(The Popchips brand hit the news just recently when its ads with Ashton Kutcher, playing four characters including a steretypical Indian person named Raj, were deemed offensive by some. The ads — not done by The Conversation but by a company named Zambesi — were pulled from circulation.)
The Conversation’s work on Popchips for “The Pitch” wasn’t so controversial, so O’Brien wonders if any sound bites will be twisted for effect.