After "Mad Men" airs on April 8, AMC will offer a sneak peek of "The Pitch," a reality show about agencies vying for business from a slew of marketers. Subway is the featured marketer, and independent agencies McKinney and WDCW LA will compete for the chance to create a fresh approach for the sandwich giant. We caught up with Tony Pace, Subway's chief marketer, to discuss the experience.
Ad Age : What about "The Pitch" drew you to being in the show, even the focus of an episode?
Mr. Pace: We see a growing need for digital content, and this might be a good and efficient way to develop some. Folks who watch this show may be a very appropriate audience for our pitch for branded-message integrations in the future.
Ad Age : During the filming did you go into the agencies for meetings, or did the agencies go to your offices? Where was most of it filmed?
Mr. Pace: Meetings were filmed on two separate occasions at our place. [The] initial [meeting] was one, and the pitch itself was the other. [We] also did a phone call at roughly [the] halfway point of development. Cameras were at agencies then, as I recall. We were just a voice on the phone. Other filming was at agencies.
I was surprised with a lot of people turning it down. And as it turns out, we were originally going to be a middle episode for "The Pitch," and apparently they liked the way ours turned out so much that it became the premiere episode.
But think about the lost opportunity for agencies. Everyone talks about "Mad Men," and everyone says it's not that big an audience, but a lot of people who watch the show are in the marketing, advertising and media worlds. What better way to show how strong you are than to show to some degree what your process is ? ... In the world we live in, any chance to demonstrate how capable you are is a chance worth taking -- unless it's just luck that got you there.