Save Castle! TV Show Renewal Campaigns with Promotional Products
This early part of the spring is the most anxiety-inducing part of the year for TV addicts like myself. TV studio executives are crunching numbers, analyzing demographics, and renegotiating contracts all over town while we bite our nails and hope we get another season of Chuck flashing on things from the Intersect and showing off new kung fu skills, Booth and Brennan identifying bodies and catching killers while denying their love for each other, and Castle and Beckett… well, basically doing the same thing.
With plenty of shows that have yet to get the thumbs up from their networks (you can check out which ones have been renewed and which ones are still on the bubble along with predictions at Michael Ausiello’s blog), nail biting is taking place in all demographics. But sometimes, fans aren’t just content to wait on pins and needles before discovering their fate. They take action.
Chuck fans bought $5 footlongs from Subway, a sponsor of the NBC show. Jericho sent twenty tons of peanuts, which was a reference to a catchphrase from the final episodes of the first season. Both of these efforts succeeded in winning the shows back for additional episodes; in Jericho‘s case, it was after an official cancellation.
Other series’ fans haven’t been quite as successful: Everwood tried to do it with pine cones in 2006, and Veronica Mars tried to do it with Mars Bars. The formula isn’t perfect.
But there are enough successes for TV fans like myself to get excited about a possible campaign. In honor of this nerve-wracking season, I’ll be profiling a few shows and my suggestions for getting them off the bubble and into the renewal zone.
Heat Wave is a murder mystery novel released to promote the show Castle. Nathan Fillion has appeared at book signings as Richard Castle to drum up publicity.
Castle – Monday nights at 10/9c, ABC
Yeah, yeah, it’s a procedural. But it’s really good. Nathan Fillion (of Firefly fame) plays Rick Castle, a millionaire pulp crime novelist who’s friends with the mayor. Why is that relevant? Because it gets him the leverage he needs to follow around Detective Kate Beckett (played excellently by Stana Katic) as inspiration for his new leading character, Nikki Heat. Nathan Fillion is ridiculously charming as always and his flippant attitude is nicely tempered by his brilliant, well-behaved (but not boring) teen daughter, Alexis (played by Molly Quinn, a real-life teenager who is beautiful and doesn’t dress like a hooker) and ex-Broadway actress mother Susan (played with pizazz by Susan Sullivan). Stana Katic is a superb actress and one of few female TV cops that I would buy as a cop in real life. She’s crazy intelligent, doesn’t put up with crap from anyone, and still manages to have a sense of humor and remain approachable. The rest of the police station gang is rounded out by Detective Kevin “Honeymilk” Ryan (Seamus Dever), Javier Esposito (played by my personal favorite, Jon Huertas), Medical Examiner Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones), and Captain Roy Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson).
Although it’s been getting pretty good ratings this year, ABC has yet to pull the trigger on renewal. Fans, unite!
The personalized castle stress ball (also pictured at the very top of this blog post) leaves little to the imagination. One look at this custom stress reliever and the ABC executives will know exactly whose fans are rallying for renewal. You might even be able to save some dough by sending them without an imprint; the message is that clear! If those number crunchers are nervous about meeting certain deadlines and budget restrictions associated with bringing a television show back for another season, a few kneads of these soft turrets should ease their minds. Put the decision makers in a happy place when they’re thinking about Castle by sending out the customized castle stress balls.
Castle is a murder mystery novelist, so a customized pen seems perfect for the job. The one that jumped out at me as most appropriate is the personalized BIC Grip Roller pen. Available in blood red, bone white, rigor mortis blue, and rotting green (my names, not official names), these custom roller pens will do the job. They’re also reminiscent of the show’s logo, which shows a fountain pen creating one of the slants of the A in Castle’s name. Custom pens are always a great choice for advertising campaigns, and this type of rally is no exception. Plus, because personalized pens are a high retention product, they’ll be hanging around the ABC offices for years to come – ensuring a nice long run of Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, and the rest of the gang!
For all its wit and charm, Castle is still a procedural at heart. The customized DNA ID kit is a unique promotional gift that’ll certainly grab the attention the fan campaign needs. Each of these highly affordable kits comes with a personal record, a fingerprint record (with an ink strip for fingerprinting and a clean nap for cleanup), DNA record (swab or hair) with paper bag collection, photo record, and medical record. If only everyone had one of these kept safe at home, the NYPD would have a lot easier time identifying bodies. They’re also great for creepy serial killers who just don’t have the room to keep a real corpse around the crumbling apartment but still want to hang onto a trophy from each of the victims. Or, you know, you could imprint it with a witty catchphrase and send it in to get a show renewed. Whatever works.
So what do you think, my promotional peons? Do these seem like good ideas to get Castle from the almost-renewed to the official schedule? Do you have any ideas for better products to suit the cause? How about the shows that tried campaigns and didn’t quite make it? Would a different promotional product have worked. Sound off in the comments below!
Until next time, keep expanding your brand!