Math & Magic

You could call it Bob Pittman’s Greatest Hits. The iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO has rounded up his favorite stories from season one of “Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing,” for a bonus episode of the podcast he launched in May. Of the 21 conversations between Pittman and other visionary leaders from across the entertainment and media industries, the host reflects back on “a few of the stories from season one that have stuck with me, some of the best marketing stories.”

Those include the origin story behind Olivier Francois' famous "Imported from Detroit" tagline. As CMO of Fiat Chrysler and Head of the Fiat Brand, the Paris-born Francois talked about the creation of “Born of Fire,” the TV spot that introduced the Chrysler 200 during Super Bowl XLV. At 2 minutes, it is one of the longest commercials ever shown during the event, offering a portrait of a new Detroit, with rapper Eminem—who is from Detroit—driving the car through the city, as an instrumental version of his “Lose Yourself” plays.

Also reprised is Pittman’s conversation with Gayle Troberman where the iHeartMedia CMO offers her best tips for launching a guerilla campaign. And there’s Wendy Clark, Global President and CEO of ad agency DDB, and GroupM’s CEO Tim Castree, discussing how to break through the clutter.

Fred Seibert, the first MTV Creative Director, reminisces about the incredible origin – and effectiveness – of the "I want my MTV" campaign. With only a $2 million ad budget, Pittman, Seibert and their MTV co-conspirators couldn’t blitz the entire country with the now famous slogan. Instead they identified a few markets where, if the spots ran, they would generate the most people calling their cable operators to demand the channel. The spot that produced the desired results was voiced by The Who’s Pete Townsend: “America, demand your MTV… Call your cable operator and say, ‘I want my MTV.’” As Seibert recalls, “We made customer representatives from all over America crazy within four weeks. We reversed that demand curve.”

Listen to the podcast HERE.