Breaking the Formula: ABC’s Castle and Marketing Tips, Part 2

First order of business: CASTLE WAS RENEWED FOR A THIRD SEASON! Now, I’m not going to specifically say it was because of my recent blog postings, but I will say that they didn’t exactly get the green light before these bad boys went up either. Make of that what you will. I am so unbelievably excited. It’s a full 22 episode renewal as well; there’s no nonsense about a 13 pickup and waiting for the back 9. Feed the birds.

Second order of business: more marketing tips! Castle is not only a source of amazing entertainment, but it’s also a fantastic place to pick up some business tips. Last week’s post highlighted the importance of teamwork and clear communication. This week’s is going to talk about the power of youth and rocking the business world old school style.

3) Get the youth behind your cause.

Society would have you believe that the average teenager is a moron. If you take your cues from most television, you’d know they have limitless wealth, insatiable libidos, and a snarky disregard for authority. Also, high schools are totally changing the dress code from when I was in high school. Now, I’m not saying that liking Twilight and wearing skinny jeans are mature, well-informed life choices, but let’s give credit where credit is due.

Take Alexis Castle, for example. This bright young woman is Rick Castle’s teenage daughter. She’s brilliant, responsible (She bursts into tears after lying to her dad about jumping a turnstile to get on a train as the worst thing she ever did.), and very pretty. I throw “pretty” in there, because while there are increasing numbers of nerd girls in pop culture, they are often hidden behind thick glasses, child-like braces, or bushy hair. I mean, with this girl’s looks she could be queen bitch, but she instead chooses to study hard, come home early, and keep her father in line. She frequently quips that she’s raising him, and she’s not too far from the truth.

This girl is awesome.

Molly Quinn for Mary Jane Watson!

No matter what your political affiliation is, you can’t deny the impact that young Americans had on the last presidential election. According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 66% of American voters under the age of 30 voted for President Obama. To give you some perspective, a Procrastination Scale exists and is used frequently when conducting research on college age learning and studying strategies. College kids are so lazy that they had to put a number on it. Getting them to brush off the Cheetos, stash their bong, and get in a voting booth? That’s some marketing power.

Although the younger demographic may not have the high-paying jobs you want them to have in order to afford higher end products and services, they are savvy shoppers and major in word-of-mouth communication. Also, the younger you catch a customer and turn her into a lifelong client, the more years you’ll have of continued loyalty.

4) Don’t ditch tried and true methods for the sake of pretty technology.

Don’t get me wrong; I love me some Bones. The high tech Angelator (a nice little piece of equipment that could recreate the scene and circumstances of a murder in 3D provided some quick jabs at a sketchpad looking thing by Angela) was a lot of fun in the early seasons. But what good are fantastic characters if all they do is stick information into a machine and have an answer pop out? No one enjoys watching someone solve a mystery; the fun is in watching them gather evidence, make connections, struggle, and fail and THEN maybe bring the guy in for questioning.

Castle is all about old school. Although the last pair of episodes (“Tick Tick Tick” and – you guessed it – “Boom”) brought in some nice FBI smart boards, the show frequently relies on good old-fashioned detective work to get their perp (or pipehead, chucklehead, and the classic dirtbag). In an early season one episode, Castle is just getting acclimated to the police work protocol. The cops want to see if dead Jane Doe’s picture matches a missing person, and Castle asks if they’re going to run it through a visual face recognition system. The visual face recognition system, as it turns out, is a table with stacks of folders filled with photos of missing people.

So many businesses have generic, automated email responses now. Customers have a pretty sensitive bullshit detector and likely never read the canned stuff that bounces back to their inbox. Old school style says that if you get an email, you send one back. Personalized emails mentioning something from the original message are exponentially more likely to open up a line of communication: a critical connection for those looking to hook in a casual customer.

Other old school business strategies that technology has tried to wipe out include actually answering the phone (Whose blood doesn’t boil after two menus of listening to an automated voice present options and pressing buttons? Who, at this point, doesn’t just keep pressing zero until they hear a human voice?), individualized products or services (Everything seems to be in “packages” nowadays, and there’s not a lot of room in the collective budget for things customers don’t need.), and speaking an actual language (as opposed to stupid words like “ergonomic” and “synergistic” and my personal least favorite “guesstimate”).

Third order of business: SPOILER ALERT FROM MOST RECENT EPISODES: I’ve got $50 and a drawer full of promotional goodies here that says Dunn comes back and kidnaps Alexis. The guy has “season finale” written all over him. Who’s gonna take me up on it?

What do you think of these Castle-inspired tips? How do you approach young clients in your business model? Don’t you think Molly Quinn would make a great Mary Jane Watson – a true girl next door – in the new Spider-Man film (provided it films during Castle’s hiatus)? What about old school approaches? Do you have any tried and true methods that surpass anything that cutting edge technology has to offer? Any other Castle-based tips for the TV-loving business folks? Sound off in the comments below!

Until next time, keep expanding your brand!


Jana Quinn

An old ‘G’ that’s been working for QLP since it was in Bret’s basement – Jana has been writing since she made up a story about a Jana-Tiger that liked rocky road ice cream and got straight A’s. She enjoys writing about marketing and pop culture, posting a ‘Die Hard’ article as often as she’s allowed. She is inspired by the articles at Cracked and frequently wears a Snuggie in the office. You can also connect with Jana on Google+.


  1. Tammi Kibler

    Hi Jana,

    I love the intersection of Castle and marketing. Still smiling at “or pipehead, chucklehead, and the classic dirtbag.”

    I can’t think of any old school approaches that come close to what we are able to achieve with Twitter. Can you imagine how hard it would have been to get Jon Huertas’ attention in the snail mail fan pile? If you had, do you imagine any way he would have sent his fans to check you out?

    I think everything that worked old school, still works to some extent, but then we have all these new tools and it is exciting to see how we can use them in new and interesting ways.

    Keep writing, I like your style.

    Tell your boss I’m going to check out your logo products. I need a logo.

    Tammi Kibler

  2. Jana


    Thanks for writing! I’m glad you enjoyed the Castle-meets-business style. I’m definitely having a lot of fun coming up with new ways to connect the two.

    I totally agree about Twitter. While he wasn’t the one who retweeted any of the postings about this blog (That was SaveCastle, now known as CastleActive), you’re right in that he never would have picked my comment out of a snail mail pile and responded. And because it’s such a pain to get snail mail going, who knows if I would have even written it?

    I am totally in support of new toys and new tech, but I think keeping that old school, personal level contact with clients is critical. Do spam emails get into a lot of inboxes? Absolutely. But do they get remotely the kind of attention and return interest as a personally-crafted individual email? Certainly not. So old school methods + cutting edge toys = best outcomes.

    As far as getting some products, please feel free to hop on the website’s live chat or give us a call. Since we have that old school approach of having real people in the chat and on the phones, you can definitely bounce some great ideas back and forth – like Beckett and Castle. 😉

    Take care and let me know what you think of my next Castle blog next Monday!


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