'The Pitch:' New AMC Reality TV Series Gives Behind-The-Scenes Look At America's Top Ad Agencies

 @CareyDrew2 on April 30 2012 9:01 AM

In an attempt to capitalize off of the success of Mad Men, AMC has come out with a new original reality TV show called The Pitch.

The networks newest show, which premieres on April 30, offers viewers an intense, never-before-seen glimpse in to the world of America's top ad agencies.

In each episode, two agencies compete to win a new client by going head-to-head in an all or nothing showdown - a presentation known as The Pitch.

"'The Pitch' was born out of an idea for a non-fiction series that would present a story in a grounded and authentic way that takes viewers into an inherently dramatic world that has yet to be explored," Joel Stillerman, Executive Vice President of Original Programming for AMC, said in a statement.

In episode one of the new series, AMC matches up McKinney, a high-profile ad agency based out of Durham, NC, verses WDCW, an equally matched high-profile ad agency with offices in Seattle and Los Angeles.

The 42-minute episode follows the two agencies as they compete in hopes of landing the account of one of the biggest quick service food company's in the world - Subway.

"We liked the Idea of 'The Pitch,' because it allowed us to focus on a project that made sense for our brand and also showed people that we are a company that is willing to try different things," Subway Chief Marketing Officer Tony Pace told IBTimes.

Pace, who is featured in episode one of The Pitch, has been the architect of many of the successes of the Subway brand.

When Tony joined Subway in January of 2006, it was the number five quick service brand in the world. Today, the company stands as the number two brand as measured by sales and the number one brand in terms of number of locations worldwide.

With such a huge account at stake, the McKinney agency looked at the AMC opportunity as a way to show off what a real advertising agency does, while having fun at the same time.

"One of the reasons that we decided to do 'The Pitch,' is because we're very proud of who we are and what we do, and it was an opportunity to show off some of the talented and passionate people that work here everyday," McKinney Creative Officer Jonathan Cude told IBTimes.

"Once we were all on the same page about that, we just said, 'lets just have fun with this and be who we are and kind of let it rip,'" Jonathan added.

The Pitch chronicles the incredible lengths, intense stakes and tight deadlines that top advertising agencies experience. But according to Cude, there is a big difference between the pitch process featured on the show and the one that agencies like McKinney go through on a daily basis.

"The pitch process on the show was much more truncated time wise," Cude said.

On the show, we were briefed at Subway world headquarters in Connecticut. We then flew home, worked for six days and flew back up to subway and pitched. Normally, that kind of process could take anywhere from one to three months. And so it was a much more condensed timeline.

As advertising is an idea based business with incredibly high stakes, Studio Lambert, the production company for shows like Undercover Boss and Project Runway, sought out to capture just how hard it is to come up with a great idea, only to walk into a room and have it all ride on one pitch.

But according to McKinney's lead creative brain, while AMC shot around 100 hours of footage, quite a bit of the process was not featured on the show.

"It's a big challenge for AMC and the producers they work with to tell a story like that in the amount of time they have," Cude said.

"But I think the particular glimpse that people do get to see is indicative of some aspects and characteristics of what we do. There is some pressure involved, there is often a lot of money on the line and there are often are jobs at stake. But we also have a lot of fun and this was an opportunity for us to have fun," he added.

Subway's willingness to participate in the The Pitch, also included a fun factor, as well a desire to show a side of the marketing industry that has never been seen before.

According to Pace, while we may not realize it, there are already a number of reality series on television that show viewers how the marketing process works. But while that may be true, Pace says that the public is being sold short by people who are not very good at marketing.

"I think there are a lot things that people would find interesting about the whole marketing process that is interesting subject matter for audiences beyond the media/marketing world," Pace said.

"Look at a show like The Apprentice. How often on that show do they do marketing related stuff? And frankly they're doing marketing stuff with people who really aren't all that good at marketing. So to have a higher caliber, more experienced base of folk who are talking about it, I think makes it more interesting," he added.

Other brands featured on The Pitch are Waste Management, C. Wonder, One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Mister Sparky, Frangelico/Campari America, JDRF, Autograph Collection and Popchips.

While AMC launched its newest unscripted series with a sneak preview of the Subway episode after the network's award-winning series Mad Men, on April 8, the eight-part unscripted series will have its full premiere on Monday, April 30 at 9pm ET/PT with a new episode, featuring Waste Management.

The Subway restaurants episode is also be available on AMCTV.com, iTunes and YouTube.

Check out the trailer for The Subway Account, Episode 1: The Pitch

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