Media Beat: Gerry Graf “I don’t know if ‘everything’s’ been done”

By Matt Van Hoven 

In part two of our three part interview series with Saatchi & Saatchi New York Chief Creative Officer Gerry Graf, we talk about his agency’s pitch for the Pizza Hut account. At the time of this interview, Saatchi was still pitching for the business, which has since been awarded to the Martin Agency. Oopsies.

Graf’s most revealing comment: “I don’t know if everything’s been done” &#151 in regards to how to come up with a convincing pitch for a client that’s probably seen and heard it all. If there’s one thing we hear over and over, it’s that everything that can be done in advertising, has been done. All else is just some amalgamation of a previous effort.

Asked what it takes to win an account like this, “You need a great idea, I think,” he said. “That’s the first thing you need. The next is an idea that they haven’t come up with in the 25 years that they’ve been doing Pizza Hut.”


We attempted to get him to reveal more, but since Graf isn’t one to let much slip the best we could get was that he likes the ‘makin it great’ slogan from yesterdecade.

Asked where business-winning ideas come from (I know, I know &#151 we’re trying to gear this thing for people interested in getting into the business of advertising), said Graf, “It’s always for me the same thing, ‘why is this different from everybody else.'”

In our opinion, Pizza Hut isn’t any different than Papa John’s or Domino’s &#151 at the end of the day their food is no better or worse &#151 which must make the job of trying to win their business impossible. It certainly explains Crispin’s efforts to revamp Domino’s image. Nonetheless, check back tomorrow for part three when we’ll discuss the woes of working with Web video.

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