What We’re Watching: “The Pitch”

AMC’s newest reality TV show, “The Pitch,” follows ad agencies from around the country as they compete to win work from major clients. At Linda Costa Communications Group , we’ve been watching with rapt attention, and we plan to post our thoughts on the episodes. In the pilot, two agencies –McKinney and WDCW – pitch their concepts to Subway to increase awareness and sales of its breakfast sandwiches among the 18-24-year-old demographic. Of course, we know we didn’t see the full story – just an hour-long version of it – but here’s what fascinated us:

Creative culture at agencies differs widely. It’s eye-opening to see how other agencies operate. McKinney struck us as a place where you pay your dues before earning respect … and develop a thick skin until then. By contrast, WDCW seemed more nurturing of younger staffers and their ideas.

The 18-24 age range is critical. It’s telling that the first episode featured Subway hearing pitches from ad agencies in an attempt to capture the brand loyalties of this age group. Subway executives openly stated that locking in the preferences of young adults during their formative years would be essential to the new breakfast line’s success. We predict we’ll see a lot of companies targeting this demographic this season.

Great ideas come from all over. We liked the geographic diversity of the agencies featured – and seeing how regional sensibilities bring fresh ideas to the table. McKinney is headquartered in the college hub of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina, while WDCW hails from the urban, west coast settings of Seattle and Los Angeles. It would be interesting if future episodes showed an agency with international offices – or even one based overseas.

Proven results win the day. McKinney turned to YouTube for research and found winning inspiration in Mac Lethal, a Kansas City rapper known for his spots about pancakes and eggs. The fact that his video already had earned 23 million views bumped this concept to the top. If we were the ones spending millions of dollars on a campaign, we’d want to know it was going to be well-liked. The proven success behind this concept is a big part of why Subway execs bought the idea.

If we’ve made you curious about the show, you can catch it Mondays at 9 p.m. Or, if you watched it, what did you think?


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