Pongo at 25: Five Gems That Epitomize Studio’s Best Work for Clients

2 Broke Girls
CBS Television, 2012

With football season ending, CBS used this spot, titled “No Monday Night Football, No Problem,” in an attempt to direct male eyeballs over to the raunchy female comedy. The challenge: The show itself has absolutely nothing to do with football.

“There are always marketing goals, and at the same time you want to wrap it in a package that remains true to the show or its humor,” says Thomas McGough, founder, president and CEO of Pongo.

Desperate Housewives
ABC Television, 2010

Over-the-top sound effects and Sergio Leone spaghetti Western needle drops combine with cartoony, CGI-enhanced visuals to sell a season premiere showdown for the inhabitants of Wisteria Lane — the fictional street located on the Universal lot where the intrigue unfolds.

“The director was not part of our team, but we edited it and did all the sound design and compositing, which added to its theatrical feel,” McGough says.

Family Guy
Twentieth Television, 2013

The goal: convey the “giggity-giggity-goo” fun of the Glenn Quagmire character in 30 seconds. The challenge: to do so in such a way that practically no one will be offended.

“Quagmire is always saying something inappropriate,” says Cary Sachs, chief marketing officer and senior VP of Pongo. “Using comedic beats, we were able to still use the energy (of the character) without majorly insulting anybody out there.”

Shark Week
Discovery, 2011

Cut to the beat of the Lady Gaga song “Show Me Your Teeth,” this jaws-heavy spot has won fans off-network, racking up more than 1.2 million views on YouTube.
“We wanted to do something different, and we had permission from Discovery to do something where they would be paying for the music over and above a needle drop,” McGough says. Before a single image was sourced, a Pongo production assistant was sent on a music search, and came up with the Gaga tune. “The song just drove it,” Sachs says. “It’s one of our favorite moments here at Pongo.”

Shark Tank
Disney/ABC Domestic Television, 2014

Non sequitur soundbites from the show’s panel of “shark” investors are intercut with title cards against a plodding synth rock rhythm track to create a spot that’s simultaneously edgy and surreal.

“It’s a show that’s basically talking heads in a dark room, so this is one were you have to go outside normal selling promos, otherwise it starts to get stale and boring,” McGough says. “There aren’t pretty visuals, but word cards perhaps can deliver the marketing message while these people – or sharks – help deliver the drama and the content.”

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