Our Chief Instigation Officer, Joe Maceda, was recently interviewed for a piece on some of the unintentional marketing that’s been happening from political guests for Showtime’s new show, “Who Is America?” Check out some of Joe’s insights in the full Adweek piece here. And, on top of that, he expanded on one of his thoughts – about the narrative extensions – below.
What is interesting is that the comments from the interviewees are breaking down the distinction between the show itself and its marketing in the real world. These pre-emptive statements have become part of the show’s narrative now, so the content doesn’t just begin on Sunday night on Showtime. This works out really well for Showtime, because as a premium service they can’t rely on non-subscribers tuning in to preview the show. The guests have basically provided a preview to non-subscribers, and those that are intrigued might end up signing up for Showtime.
I think we will see more of these narrative extensions—both intentional and incidental—as more entertainment properties are offered direct to consumer and need to find ways to “sample” their product without making people pay.
In some ways, it’s actually similar to the pop-up restaurants or experiences that we often see tied to new show or movie releases, which also generate lots of PR. This time, that PR is generated by a more politically divisive stunt that happens to also be the show itself.