I have to admit, when I was first approached by our LA Chapter about possible participation in AMC's new unscripted series, The Pitch, I hesitated. As one ad agency remarked, on why they didn't participate, "We don't want to be mentioned next to 'Snooki is pregnant.'"
But then I re-thought: an hour on a major network focused on T1D and JDRF's efforts to improve lives and end this disease. Given that we channel 80% of our expenditures to research, and very little to marketing, this was an unprecedented opportunity to get our message out to a large audience that might not otherwise know about T1D and JDRF. After discussion with the production company, I was convinced that they would handle the subject matter properly. And after discussion with our senior management, I switched to my own "pitch" mode, convincing Studio Lambert that JDRF should be the only charity client on the new show.
The rest, as they say, is now DVR and iTunes download history.
The actual editing of the show went beyond my expectations of the focus it would bring to T1D and the impact it has on so many lives. I appreciate that the producers kept JDRF and T1D center stage throughout. We were able to give a new audience a better understanding of the disease and the critical need to support our efforts to end it. And even though Jeffrey, Mania and I had many "brilliant" comments that didn't make the cut, I thought it represented JDRF as a passionate, dedicated and professional organization.
But the real bottom line is that it has generated interest and awareness among a group that had not previously been aware. And it has generated a great deal of discussion around both T1D and JDRF. If you haven't been to it, visit bethevoiceofone.com and read some of the comments and tweets.
OK, so with that long preamble, I'll address what you really want to know: why did we pick (SPOILER ALERT!) the Bozell campaign over the Muse execution? In short, Bozell responded to the somewhat complicated charge we gave them with a more complete, strategic and appropriate answer.
While Muse did a great job of knowing our disease and the struggles they face, they went with a very clever idea that appealed to a more narrow audience and never showed us how it could be more. Bozell listened better, understood better who we appealed to and presented a more complete strategy and execution. While the TOD idea would need to be more fully explored before we would employ it (there are T1Ds out there named "Todd" after all) the Be The Voice of One campaign captured the rallying cry we had asked for, and believe that we need to actively engage more people behind our mission. And apparently, the general public agrees, voting 2-1 for our pick of the Bozell campaign in the AMC poll. Whew!
That said, I have to tell you that I was very impressed with both agencies. I spent 35+ years on their side of the table and I know the amount of work and thinking required to produce what each presented to JDRF on that last day. Both displayed an amazing amount of understanding and passion which was reflected in their work. It was very clear to me that "winning" a new client was a distant second to helping JDRF advance its mission. For that, they both deserve our respect and thanks.
As someone noted in their tweet, there were no "losers" last Sunday night. The agencies and AMC helped bring a greater awareness of T1D and JDRF to a new audience. And along the way, helped speed us down our path to improving lives and curing type 1 diabetes.
For that, we can all be grateful.
Thanks for this behind-the-scenes post., Scott. I very much enjoyed reading it , a very nice compliment to the show that we all saw. Looking forward to hearing more about how we in the Diabetes Online Community can participate and help out.
I liked both ad's but having an ex named Todd and being a T1 I really want to get one of the " I don't <3 Tod" T's.