airs monday night
AMC's new real-life version of Mad Men features a Houston ad agency with ThePitch
"The producers call it a 'documentary series,' which seems to have a little more integrity than 'reality TV'," Scott Brown laughs when asked about his Houston ad agency FKM making its television debut Monday on the AMC's The Pitch.
A sort of real-life take on Mad Men, the new reality competition offers a behind-the-scene look at world of advertising, following a pair of top firms each episode as they compete for the same account. Weeks one and two saw agencies vying for lucrative contracts with Subway and Waste Management, inspiring a range of campaigns that involved anything from rapping YouTube stars to hungry zombies.
"Basically, the producers just presented us with the client," FKM president Scott Brown says. "From there, everything else was unscripted to show how the firms themselves work."
"We were impressed by how focused the show was on trying to capture the unstructured process of how these ideas are generated," says Brown, who along with several other advertising professionals took over and completely restructured the FKM agency in April 2011.
"Basically, the producers just presented us with the client. From there, everything else was unscripted to show how the firms themselves work."
On Monday at 9 p.m., FKM will be pitted against Toronto's The Hive for an account with Clockwork — a home services company based in Florida that operates national brands like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and Mister Sparky electrical services.
To say the least, The Hive is a formidable foe with its established accounts for globally-recognized clients like Reebok and Coca-Cola as well as Canadian dance music icon Deadmau5.
"When we first heard about the show about a year ago, we were in the process of completely making over and updating the company," Brown says. "We reconfigured the agency with a very non-traditional set up. We felt confident enough to could go up against all these major players." Visit the FKM site for more on the firm's unique internal structure.
While Brown is keeping quiet about whether the agency secured the Clockwork account, he notes that he feels FKM rose to the challenge of presenting itself as a strong, cutting-edge company.
"We're not in this to become reality stars, of course," he says. "This was a big risk, but we always knew going into this that we could come across as a smart and innovative firm. Thankfully, I think that really comes across in the show and we're excited to get our brand shown to a national audience."
FKM is renting out the Majestic Theater for a private viewing party on Monday night so its employees and clients can watch the show in style.