AMC’s The Pitch: A Solid Base Hit

May 21, 2012   //   by Kristen Fisher   //   Blog, Marketing, The Pitch  //  No Comments

I have noticed my friends and colleagues fall into two different camps – those who watch TV, and those who sneer at the thought of such a bourgeois pastime. What the latter may not have realized is that some TV is really good. All things Internet have put the squeeze on TV advertisers, driving networks to deliver better quality programming in hopes of protecting/increasing their ad-viewing audience.

AMC jumped into the original programming fray a few years back, with some hits and some misses. Lately they have begun to augment their original series with unscripted programming. With the overwhelming critical and popular success of Mad Men, AMC recently launched The Pitch, a series that follows two ad agencies as they vie to land a major account. I think the allure of reality shows lies in the audience identifying with the contestants – which is a clear indicator why I don’t care for the singing/dancing/half-naked-on-an-island shows – but I am bonkers for The Pitch.

These are my musings, thoughts, and occasional rants about this fascinating show and – SPOILER ALERT – I will discuss the winners & losers! It won’t be an episode recap, though, because you should watch the show [or at least visit the episode link!]

Episode 1: Subway

This pilot episode showed us that we’ll get to know the agency people both inside and outside the agency – but more intriguing is watching the process unfold from briefing, to concept development, to pitch and agency selection in 7 days.

I thought WCDW’s concept of “zAMbies” was creative, well thought out, and would speak to the young adult demographic Subway is targeting. McKinney had several creative teams offering ideas, and they pitched two – one was “Let’s Fix Breakfast” which could have been amazing if they used the play on words, but instead they suggested a sandwich talk show with makeovers. ?!?! Even if it had been presented in a better fashion [seriously, they should have rehearsed] this concept fell flat. Their second pitch leveraged YouTube rapper Mac Lethal [he has 23M views of a video about pancakes] in a Subway-focused video – taking their concept a bit farther than WCDW’s print offerings. Plus they brought Mac Lethal to the pitch in person, and while his freestyle rap to the Subway team was under-whelming, I think they scored points for going the extra mile.

So to sum up – WDCW’s concept was better, but McKinney’s execution was better. Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse?


  • Check out the promotional campaigns for the series. I think they are kind of flat – the show is better than the ads would have you think. What do you think?
  • Do you think the Mac Lethal campaign will be effective?
  • The AMC poll asking who should have won shows 2-1 for WDCW so far – who gets your vote?


Up next – Episode 2: Waste Management!


Images from “The Pitch” Copyright © 2010-2012 American Movie Classics Company LLC. All rights reserved.

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