WWSCDPD? (What Would Sterling Cooper Draper Price Do?): The AMC-DISH showdown

If you’re a fan of popular shows like Mad Men, The Walking Dead, or Breaking Bad, you’ve surely heard about the AMC-Dish Network showdown. At the beginning of May, Dish announced that it will drop AMC Networks at the end of this month due to the “high renewal cost compared to their low viewership.” Ever since, AMC has been dishing out their displeasure at Dish and asking their faithful fans to do the same.

Let’s take a quick review of what AMC has done to try and convince Dish to keep them as part of their network.

  • They went digital: AMC launched a microwebsite, KeepAMCNetworks.com, specifically targeted to asking customers to take action. From the site, customers can find out the “real” reason Dish is dropping AMC (see what they claim) and email (or call) Dish to convince them to keep AMC. They also invite visitors to put in their zip code to find out what other providers offer AMC, and they bring up the name and contact information of the other provider. I won’t say they’re playing dirty, but they’re definitely playing.
  • They went social: AMC has taken Twitter full force, asking customers to call Dish and convince them to keep AMC. They’ve used the hashtag #DISHrupted, as well as their main Twitter account and the Twitter accounts of their most popular shows, to get their message out. Oh, and they’ve taken the same approach on Facebook, encouraging customers to call Dish in support of keeping AMC.
  • They went…traditional?: Yes, it’s true. AMC invoked their inner 1960s, Donald Draper-inspired creativity to produce a print ad that they ran in the Wall Street Journal. The ad featured the infamous Mad Men character to ask customers to retaliate against Dish.
The AMC ad that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

I commend AMC for using all of their channels — digital, print, and social — to reach their target audiences. I also commend them for staying true to who they are. If you browse their Twitter profiles or Facebook pages, you’ll find a lot of un-Dish related messages. This shows that AMC realizes that they have a large group of customers who won’t be affected by this change, and they’re continuing to deliver quality content to them without bombarding them with retaliation messages.

The lesson: Don’t get so consumed by one event which affects a small part of your audience that you compromise your relationship with your whole audience. This is a pretty public battle, and AMC is fighting, but they’re still remaining true to their fans.

I’d say they’re handling it pretty well, but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to convince Dish. If only we knew what Sterling Cooper Drayer Pryce would do…

What do you think of the AMC-Dish battle? How’s AMC handling it?

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About Abby Ecker

PR pro and healthy living blogger in the First State
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