Advertising Executive, President of Womenkind, Speaks about AMC's The PitchFeb. 11, 2013
By Courtney Roberts
On Friday, January 18, advertising agency President Kristi Faulkner talked to students and faculty in Kayser Auditorium about her company's experience on AMC's television reality show "The Pitch." Faulkner started the first female-focused advertising agency, Womenkind, in 2008, during which she says "the timing couldn't have been worse. It was the worst financial crisis in the U.S."
Things started looking up for Womenkind in early 2012, when they were asked to be on AMC's "The Pitch." They originally said no, because they were skeptical of what "The Pitch" might do to their company image. They didn't want to cry on camera or be perceived as feminine stereotypes. They also weren't sure how the creative brainstorming process would be portrayed after production editing. "At Womenkind, we believe in the power of bad ideas," Faulkner said. Despite those misgivings, they went ahead with the show.
On the show, Womenkind's assignment was to create an advertising campaign to convey women's lifestyle brand C. Wonder to its female clients. Womenkind competed against agency DIGO, which is mostly male dominated, for the account. C. Wonder CEO Chris Burch judged the campaigns and picked an agency at the end.
To begin their pitch development for C. Wonder, the design team purchased C. Wonder's merchandise. They interviewed people in the store, as well as women that do not shop there. They gathered pictures of C. Wonder clients, products, and rivals. With only eight days from start to finish, the team worked tirelessly to produce a quality proposal.
Womenkind presented several pitches under one main idea, "Elements of Surprise." They designed a car wrap, shopping bags, and inspiration prints. Some of the highlights of their campaign included an individualized customer loyalty program and a customer feedback program that allows customers to suggest ideas for C. Wonder.
The idea from competing agency DIGO was "A Great Mood Can Change The World," featuring a video with unicorns and seahorses pulling a carriage on the clouds flanked by polka-dotted rain boots. After seeing the competition, Faulkner thought the best choice would be obvious. However, CEO Chris Burch chose DIGO. As Burch said on camera, "It came down to one thought. One group came with one idea, the other came with ten."
"She did a really good job. She took a chance that paid off with her firm. I feel like marketing towards just women would turn a lot of people off," said Fort Worth senior Nicole Antonini. "I thought they had a great pitch and a great strategy."
Faulkner said the most shocking thing about watching the show after taping was seeing DIGO's ideas. "We were surprised that we lost! We thought we had nailed it and surely Chris would have picked us. We feel very challenged by Chris Burch and we continue to talk to him."
Faulkner's visit to Baylor was sponsored by the local Waco chapter of the American Advertising Association.
For more information about Womenkind, visit www.womenkind.net.