Watching TV is the world’s favorite pastime. Since the dawn of the small screen, no one has ever had to twist someone’s arm to get them to sit down and watch it. Of course not- because television is great! There’s so much on television though that the problem lies in choosing what to watch. That’s why television networks put a lot into advertising and marketing of their shows. Here are some fascinating things about it.


TV networks think way outside the box


Advertising and marketing can get ridiculously creative for television shows. From super active social media accounts to controversial billboards, some TV shows do a lot to get people to tune in. Here’s 3 times tv shows turned a lot of heads.


1. HBO’s taxi ad of their hit show ‘The Sopranos’ has gone down as one of the best taxi cab ads, and some of the best guerrilla advertising ever.

2. The ABC drama ‘Scandal’ owes a lot to its Twitter account after it saved the show’s ratings (thus saving the show). Scandal’s official Twitter started live tweeting during the episodes. It drew in thousands of fans and started a loyal Thursday night tweet storm for all of TGIT (TV shows produced by Shonda Rhimes that air Thursday nights) that still occurs today.


3. The Amazon Original show ‘The Man in the High Castle’ put a billboard in Times Square that stirred up a lot of feelings. Many angry critics said the advertising was very controversial and Amazon should have known it would be. Well…they did know and they did it on purpose. If you know the premise of the show (or the book it’s based on) this billboard is beyond clever.

Episode Promos Are Mostly Lies


Have you ever watched the promo for the next episode of a show right after an episode ends? Good, you’ve watched live TV before then and you know what I’m talking about. It probably really made you want to watch that next episode. Think of a medical drama episode promo: cue interns racing to scrub in on a surgery, cue a patient coding, cue two doctors looking deeply into each other’s eyes then being interrupted by another doctor, cue doctor yelling the obligatory line of “get out of my OR!”. Promos are cray-cray and they intentionally cut together a bunch of cliffhanger-y, emotional, funny clips to entice viewers. It leaves you dreading that you have to wait a whole week for that episode. Sometimes those clips aren’t even in the actual episode though! Promos are notorious for using clips from much further along episodes or editing a clip in such a way that it’s more dramatic than it is in the context of that entire episode.


Network promos are cheesy but you love them


There are promos made to highlight an entire network and the multiple shows on it. They gather the stars from all of their most popular shows to do some cringe-worthy musical number or they do the thing where they intercut a bunch of stars all saying one paragraph. Not sure what I’m talking about? Watch NBC’s recent Fall promo and I think you’ll get it:

They are a bit cheesy but that’s what makes them great! Not to mention they’ve been doing these promos since forever. People have all but forgotten about the old ones. Luckily, they were on TELEVISION which means there’s video proof of them. They’re forever immortalized whether Jay Leno likes it or not. In fact, BuzzFeed has compiled a few for your viewing pleasure:


To see how effective TV show advertising and marketing is, go watch some promos for new shows airing this fall. Guaranteed, you will find one that you’ll want to watch. All of the big networks make video playlists with promos of their entire fall and spring lineups. You can find them on the official Facebook pages or official YouTube channels of all the big-name networks.


About the Author

Charliese West is a creative at Magicbird. She’s a missionary kid who grew up in southern Africa and is a proud couch potato TV binge-watcher.

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