‘The Pitch’ showcases why a “pitching for new business strategy” is not in your best interest.
The AMC hit television series, Mad Men, has received critical acclaim, winning fifteen Emmys and four Golden Globes. It was the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series and won the award in each of its first four seasons.
AMC’s ‘The Pitch’ seems to be trying to capitalize on the popularity of Mad Men with a “reality TV” version that premieres following an episode of Mad Men. But Charlie Collier, AMC president and general manager, states that is incorrect. In a recent Business Insider article, Mr. Collier says,
“It wasn’t born out of ‘Mad Men’ at all. It was born out of a moment that’s universal, when you have to come up with a great idea under pressure and sell it, lay it all on the line for what you believe.”
There are eight initial episodes of ‘The Pitch’ in this initial season. For each episode, two agencies will face off and go head-to-head for a marketer’s advertising project in a “win-the-pitch” contest that may or may not be turned into an advertising campaign.
I thought it might be of interest to have a list of the agencies that agreed to participate in The Pitch. Each has a brief profile, a link to their website and to their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. At the end of these profiles, there’s a list of the 27 large agencies that refused to participate.
The following fifteen agencies agreed to appear on ‘The Pitch’:
Bandujo Advertising + Design
Location: New York, NY
Bandujo advertising + design is a highly creative, strategically-focused, full service ad agency in New York City. Founded in 1993, we work passionately every day on behalf of an incredibly diverse range of clients — from JPMorgan Chase to The Walt Disney Company, The New York City Department of Health to WisdomTree Investments, the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts to Children’s Specialized Hospital, and many others.
Location: Charlotte, NC
BooneOakley is an internationally-acclaimed advertising and digital agency that creates bold, culture-changing ideas for brands. Accolades include: Ad Age’s “Southeast Small Agency of The Year”, Google’s “Creative Canvas” and One Club’s “Best of The Digital Decade”. We were also recently featured in Forbes’ “Disruptors Series.”
Location: Omaha, NE
We believe anything is possible. That big, bold ideas, executed flawlessly, can truly transform companies, markets and change conventions. That by asking better questions, challenging conventional wisdom and overturning assumptions and prejudices that new possibilities are imagined and visionary ideas are developed. That’s why we think of ourselves as not merely marketing practitioners, but as transographers — actively engaged in the business of transforming markets to help our clients be more successful.
Our service mix is genuinely unique. Some of the big agency holding companies have divisions or properties that do much of what we do — but not all. And not in a truly integrated manner. We know because we were there. For over 80 years we were in the big leagues — as a large multi-national company. But it lost its attraction when focus shifted from clients to Wall Street. So we got back to our roots and have achieved the elusive goal of total integration because we genuinely understand that our whole is greater than the sum of our parts. With experience in the bigs and the heart of a start up, we work side by side with our clients to get results.
Location: New York, NY
How does your messaging strategy translate to mobile? How can Facebook positively impact your bottom line? Are Print, TV, and Radio still relevant? These are the questions facing brands and marketers today, and Conversation is the full-service agency answering those questions. Our operations aren’t fragmented. We drive results from strategy to execution, utilizing an extensive mix of in-house resources. From emerging to traditional to non-traditional to media, we’ve got you covered. We call it “the new traditional.”
DiMassimo Goldstein (DIGO)
Location: New York, NY
Digital. Direct. Different. Founded in 1996, DIGO Brands is a leading full-service brand, advertising, direct and digital agency, focused on helping our clients achieve brand-driven growth. You need to be able to pull all the levers of growth simultaneously, from product innovation to every facet of promotion. DIGO provides a total growth partner that is driven in the same way you are, market-tested and growth-trained over the past two decades by partnering on many of the legendary brand and business growth stories of our time. Our relentless drive to grow our clients’ businesses has led us to pioneer better research methodologies and the integration of word-of-mouth, buzz, and social media strategies into the total marketing communications mix. DIGO Brands makes things grow.
Location: Houston, TX
Founded in 1980, FKM is a national advertising, marketing and public relations agency, with capabilities ranging from brand development, interactive marketing, print and Internet yellow pages, to search, mobile, and media buying and planning. Headquartered in Houston with offices in Dallas and Austin, the agency reports $230 million in annual billings.
Location: Seattle, WA
Founded in 2001, Jones Advertising is an award-winning strategic and creative services advertising agency located in Seattle Washington. We are one of Seattle’s top creators of television and radio advertising. But traditional media is just the beginning. Jones Advertising develops innovative communication campaigns for Internet, out-of-home, social networks, and emerging media.
Location: Culver, CA
Kovel/Fuller is more than just an ad agency. It is your connection to strategic insights and a behind the scenes look at why some ads work and some don’t. The folks at Kovel/Fuller truly believe that the only good ads are the ones that make their clients’ cash registers ring. Kovel/Fuller operates as your marketing partner and devote themselves to gaining a grassroots understanding of your business. The result is efficient, targeted marketing that resonates with the intended audience.
Location: Durham, NC
About our clients & their customers & our people. Creative & strategic. Laid-back & intense. Online & offline. Reinventing the game & making time for a real life outside of work. Healthy egos & no assholes. Respect for proven ideas & a genetic drive to innovate. Space that encourages collaboration & looks cool, too. We put a lot of thought and effort into creating a culture of possibility. Our profound belief that no matter how good things are, there has to be a better way is at the heart of who we are and how we play the game.
Location: Culver City, CA
Ideas don’t care who their parents are. Nor do they care about culture or skin color. Great ideas only care about what thing: DO YOU HAVE THE GOODS TO BRING THEM TO LIFE?
At Muse, we believe every human being has the ability to be brilliant. Simply put, insight and ideas come to those that passionately seek them. Collectively we possess the intuition and expertise born of multiple cultures and social sectors giving us a unique and strategic viewpoint. Undoubtedly we’re Eclectic. Diverse. And Dynamic. That’s why after more than 25 years, Muse continues to prove that when insight, creative philosophies and inspiration are brought together, the best results are but a campaign away.
SK+G Marketing Communications
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Ask any agency about its area of expertise. They’ll be delighted to fill you in. The strange thing is, by the time they finish, you realize: They “specialize” in everything.
At SK+G, we approach things a little differently. Well, a lot differently, actually.
We are not a jack-of-all trades. We are a master of one. Deeply versed in the comprehensive discipline of exclusive lifestyle advertising. Employing every form of marketing service you’ve ever conceived. And perhaps even a few that you haven’t.
The Ad Store
Location: New York, NY
What We Believe
Good ideas come from anywhere.
Consumers are smart.
Consumers want to be proud of the brands
they associate themselves with.
Consumers want to be spoken to like human beings.
What We Do
Discover a brand’s voice — and then communicate it.
Connect brands with people.
Cultivate bonds emotionally and rationally.
Location: Toronto, ON
The Hive is an independent full-service creative advertising and strategic marketing agency based in Toronto, Canada. Our clients include Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Rogers, Reebok, Molson Coors International, SABMiller, Ontario Lottery and Gaming and Brown Forman. We believe in inventing what’s right: right for the client, the consumer, the time and whenever possible, right for the world.
Recognizing the emergence of a new communication model based on brand conversations, we’ve focused primarily on developing the relationships between our clients’ brands and consumers’ core human values; values that transcend geography, demographics and culture.
Location: Seattle, WA
WDCW (Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener) is an independently owned agency founded in 1993 with offices in Seattle and Los Angeles. We have over 175 employees and specialize in multi-disciplinary brand building, including advertising, brand strategy, interactive, social media and retail design.
Not only are we the most decorated independent advertising agency in Southern California, but we’re also the largest independent agency in Seattle. We’ve been voted a “Best Place to Work” by both the Los Angeles Business Journal and Puget Sound Business Journal (which is in Seattle, for the record).
Location: New York, NY
Womenkind is a marketing and communications company built by women to engage women the way women really want to be engaged. Together, we bring more than 75 years of combined experience in helping companies successfully connect with the world’s most powerful consumer: WOMEN.
Womenkind expertly translates truth gleaned from our unique discovery process into innovative insight-to-execution solutions for clients who want to understand and motivate women.
Twenty-seven of the largest advertising agencies in the country were invited to participate in ‘The Pitch’ but declined. Here’s the list:
- Leo Burnett
- McCann Erickson
- Ogilvy & Mather
- The Grey Group
- Pappas Group
- Carmichael Lynch
- Hill Holliday
- Bartle Bogle Hegarty
- Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners
- Crispin Porter & Bogusky
- The Martin Agency
- The Richards Group
- Pereira & O’Dell
- Saatchi & Saatchi
Click on the following link to read advertising columnist’s Jim Edwards article, Why Madison Avenue Is Boycotting AMC’s Reality Show ‘The Pitch’,
For the small to mid-size agencies a “pitching for new business strategy” is certainly is not in their best interest. I invite you to read “Blair Enns: 12 Revolutionary Proclamations for Ad Agency New Business.”
You may also be interested in some of the following articles on ‘The Pitch’:
- The Pitch: Mad Men Pitching For Ad Agency New Business
- What “The Pitch” Left Out: Why Agencies Get Hurt By An Upside Down Approach To New Business, Avi Dan, Forbes contributor and fomer global agency business development director
- Interview with Tony Pace, Subway’s CMO, on their selection process: “Why They Won”
- Forbes contributor Will Burns interview: “The Pitch” Behind The Scenes: Tracy Wong, WDCW
- Tracy Wong shares Why WDCW Said “Yes” To AMC’s “The Pitch
- Getting Ad Agencies Into Reality TV, Stuart Elliot, New York Times advertising columnist