Saturday, August 25, 2007

Clever Advertising or Dirty (Sexy) Marketing?

Lately while reading some gossip web sites, I've noticed items that appear to be breaking news on people I'd never heard of. Was I suddenly falling behind in my knowledge of celebrity comings and goings? How could this be?

After a few seconds of panicking, I saw the small "Advertisement" acknowledgment above the item in question, and then realized that the background color of this article was different than the rest of the "real" articles were on the site as well. But I was still confused, because there was no product that was obvious in any of these sneaky ads that were appearing everywhere. Then at the gym I was reading Star magazine (yes, I am very, very deep!) and, like usual, they had a two-page spread touting the latest fashion craze. Celebrities were lined up in a row from left to right on the page, all in similar garb... and then there was some chick I didn't know. What was going on?!?! Sure enough, up in the right hand corner, solely over the last woman in the line-up was the word "Advertisement." Grrrrrr.

Yesterday when I was walking my dog, I finally figured it out after passing a huge poster for "Dirty Sexy Money," a new show premiering this fall on ABC. It had all of the people who had been popping up in these guerrilla ads. I wasn't sure if I was really mad or really impressed. Having a marketing background, I have to appreciate anytime something new is tried to promote a product, brand, or in this case, TV show. But I could also see this sort of tactic getting extremely annoying, just as product placement in movies and on television has gotten over the past few years.

While looking into this show, I read that similar "faux articles" had appeared in the NY Post as well. They even went so far as to fly a banner around L.A. during the Paris Hilton Jail Frenzy, appearing to be sending best wishes from "The Darling Family." So between the web sites, the magazines, the billboards, the plane banners and the newspapers, ABC must have spent a pretty penny to market this series... but get this - apparently they just stopped production on it after the fifth episode!!!!
D'oh! However, I guess that doesn't mean that the show is doomed...this is a technique that sometimes is used to wait and see if a show is successful or not before filming more of it (it premieres September 26th).

Since Lost doesn't return until February, I probably will at least check this show out for the first episode or so and see how it is - there are a lot of pretty big names starring in it. But they can stop with all the ads, already!

(And no, ABC did not pay me to give them even more publicity... e will never sell out... unless the price is right! Hee hee.)

- e

1 comment:

abby said...

I had the same reaction to the "advertisements" - especially the one in US Magazine which showed celebs in off-the-shoulder dresses and then one women in a blk dress with cap sleeves ... and I thought, "US Mag editors totally screwed up and put the wrong picture in because she's not wearing off-the shoulder." But then I saw "advertisement." And then got annoyed because I wasn't sure what it was advertising ... then I saw a poster on a bus about "Dirty Sexy Money" and put two and two together...