After watching AMC’s sneak peak of “The Pitch”, I was left feeling a little…let’s say unsatisfied. Not with the show (which obviously I loved), but with the choice that was made by Subway’s CMO, Tony Pace.
While I have to admit, both campaigns were really great, I couldn’t help but wonder why Mr. Pace chose who he chose. Although there was some brief commentary from him about his decision, it seemed like there was something deeper going on there. Even from the beginning of the episode, Tony had made mention of “some” agencies use of animals in their campaigns; a not so subtle dig at WDCW’s previous Quizno’s commercials.
The comment seemed funny at the time, but it really got under my skin as I began to analyze this episode for my upcoming podcast. Was that really just Tony’s way of warning WDCW against another weird animal commercial or was it a Freudian slip of some kind?
To make things even more interesting, AMC actually has a behind the scenes clip from the show that actually has Mr. Pace explaining his decision in more detail. Unfortunately, the bias doesn’t seem to disappear. In the clip, he actually admits that WDCW may have even had the better creative! However, he defends himself by saying that he chose Mckinney based on a longterm ability to work with Subway. Whawawwhat?
If this was the case, then he probably knew going in that he had real reservations about WDCW and their extremely creative creatives. This really seems unfair to an organization that has taken it on the chin for their mistakes and that has clearly admitted them. On top of that, here they are again putting themselves out there for all to see and criticize.
So, let’s talk about that criticism. First off, I’m just as guilty as anyone else in rooting for the underdog. And since WDCW lost, they are de facto underdogs. However, if you check out AMC’s own viewer poll, as of today’s date, you’ll see that I’m not the only one who thinks that way (33% vs 67%). On top of that, if you check out the twitter feeds and see what’s being talked about more, (zAMbies or Freestyle rap) you’ll see similar results. It’s clear that their pitch was a fan favorite.
So, let’s talk about the not so “freestyle” freestyle rap that Mckinney commissioned. It’s catchy. It’s a little different. However, it’s got some issues. First off, since I’ve watched it several times, I can promise you that the hip-hop community will have some major issues with this. He’s lip-syncing with headphones on. Even Mckinney’s own Jonathan Cude admits that Mac Lethal is rapping so fast that he’s afraid to do it live without his headphones on. I’m sorry, but this is a recorded video, not live. So, what the heck does he need headphones for?
Anyway, I’m no rapper, but even the lip-syncing isn’t the best I’ve seen. At least the original breakfast rap was impressive. He was going so fast that I didn’t care if his lips didn’t match:
However, most of the Subway rap isn’t even that fast. Case in point, I’ve been following Mac Lethal on twitter now for the past week (just prior to the premier) and I haven’t seen him talk about the “freestyle” once. I’m guessing he’s very aware of how he may have jumped the shark? No matter how you slice it, the Youtube video of him “freestyling” for Subway has about 3,330 views as of today’s date, while his original breakfast rap has over 23 million.
I’m not here to dis Mac Lethal nor Subway’s Tony Pace. As a matter of fact I applaud them! Even Mckinney should get some props for finding Mac Lethal and putting that together. However, I am here as a fan, to give Tony Pace a little reality check. I don’t think that you are going to connect with that demographic (18-24) with a lip-syncing “PG” version of Mac Lethal.
With that being said, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Tony Pace isn’t going to admit that he may have chosen wrong. I mean, why should he? Here I am talking about the winner and the loser. I won’t forget the zAMbie’s anytime soon. I’m waiting for a good spoof on Saturday Night Live at this point!
Let’s face facts; Subway is a great brand and the closest thing America has to a healthy fast food option. So, I’ll definitely stop in the next time I’m hungry for a quick (and not so greasy) breakfast. And Subway’s execs will continue to count their well earned five dollar foot long money, all the way to the bank.
So what about you; have you tried their breakfast menu? What did you think?