Bravely Forging New Paths Into Media Universes Unknown

“For the first time in its history, advertising must earn its own audience to make an impact.” -The Escape Pod
In order to draw me to their website and interest me in their story, The Escape Pod did not send a lame press release. They FedExed a framed poster of this self-promo ad instead (on a national holiday, no less):
The ad is running on page 55 in the March issue of Fast Company, which also came in the box along with a nice note from Vinny Warren and Norm Bilow, the firm’s principals.
Rock poster artist, Joe Simko, created the piece that Warren and Bilow refer to as their shop’s “elevator pitch.”
It’s interesting that Warren, who could rest on his Wassup laurels, is charging down the “we have to earn our audience” lane. His humor won his client a mass audience on air while writing copy at DDB/Chicago. He earned it there. And he earned it by taking the time to send an ad blog a lead it could not ignore. It’s a good bet that he and his team will keep on earning it at The Escape Pod.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. “For the first time in its history, advertising must earn its own audience to make an impact.” -The Escape Pod
    No offense to these guys, but how is the above statement true? Isn’t that exactly how advertisers and agencies did business for many years? (The movie “The Hucksters” comes to mind. As well as every single serial radio program ever produced. King Biscuit Time? The Old Gold Comedy Theater?) Obviously, the names of those “audience earners” feature the client’s name front and center, something we tend to hide these days, but the gist of it all is as old as the hills.
    I think what they mean is this:
    “For the first time in a very long time, advertising once again has to earn its own audience to make an impact.”
    Just trying to figure out the pitch. I feel like I’m missing something. Or maybe I’m just getting hung up on a technicality. Any fellow bloggers/commenters care to enlighten me?

  2. fatc,
    you’re right in a sense. in that this isn’t the first time advertisers (and agencies) are creating programming. but that was sponsorship of programming. in the same way that buying a :30 TV spot in essence “sponsors” the show it appears in.
    the advertisers were borrowing the audience generated by radio networks. they weren’t creating it from scratch.
    At The Escape Pod, we would argue that we are rapidly approaching a time when there won’t be a mass audience to lean on. so the advertising itself will have to function as programming.