It is about 50 days that am here in Vizag, and am proud to announce that have done nothing substantial. Yeah, have started taking up classes at T.I.M.E. for one week now. This was good time spent in catching up with friends on the latest media – TV Series and movies. I never ever in L felt the urge to watch any TV series during my stint at L. Moreover seeing my friends getting totally hooked on to it, I decided on purpose that I would be away from them.
This would be quite surprising to know, but in the whole of my two years at L, when people complete the TOP 250 at IMDB, are up to date with the latest seasons of all TV series and also pick up an interest in EPL and stuff, I managed to stay away from most. I just saw HEROES season 1 completely and two and a half men Season 1 to some extent. I was thankfully smart enough to load them all up in the 1TB hard disk with the vision that I would see them some day.
Never thought that someday would be so soon. Now that I am home and completely jobless I have started my romance with these TV series, and dude! They are so addictive. I don't feel like sleeping till the wee hours of morning, just in the pursuit of completing up "one more" episode of HIMYM. I am again proud to announce that I have completed five times more seasons in these 50 days than my 2 years there at L.
Well, now getting to the core. What intrigued me the most of these English TV series, other than the fact that they are a good time pass, is the level of marketing and viewer engagement that these people get into these Shows?
- Brad Pitt was dating Jennifer Aniston, so get him to an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
- It is thanksgiving time, so celebrate this in the show.
- Blackout in the US, so make a complete episode out of it.
Well, these things even the Hindi TV series probably do. What they miss out on the most is creating the characters in such a way, that people actually start believing that they are real people. The case in hand that I would be detailing in this post is HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
Before starting off, this sitcom (situational Comedy) is about Ted, in the year 2030 recounts to his son and daughter the events that led to his meeting their mother, which explains the title and allows for a narration in the past tense. How I Met Your Mother's other main characters are Marshall, Robin, Lily and the LEGENDARY Barney.
Some of the main points that really impressed me about the involvement level created by the marketing team are:
- The Bro Code, stated by Barney many times throughout the series, is a set of written rules for bros to follow, and has been published as a tie-in novel and also an audiobook. Now this is going really far. Actually sensing a market for a book of rules that are just passed off as dialogues in the series is excellent.
- Throughout the series Barney makes references to his blog. CBS hosts and updates an online copy of Barney's Blog online. Actually having a blog on the characters reference, and also updating it would make the viewer completely involved with the AWESOME character.
- There is this one episode when Barney is referred to as Swarley. Barney towards the end tries to pretend he loves his new name to avoid being called Swarley again. Though it is not shown in the episode, there is a website called Swarley.com about it.
- In one of the episodes it is revealed that one of Barney's former one-night-stands, whom he told that his name was Ted Mosby (in Ted Mosby: Architect), created a website denouncing him called TedMosbyIsAJerk.com. Actually designing such a website is great.
- A website made by Victoria as a response to, called TedMosbyIsNOTaJerk.com also exists. This one is not an official site, and there it shows it all. The fans have become so loyal and they actually want to follow the makers and leave no stone unturned.
- Marshall and Lily are married and there exists a website with videos and pictures of Marshall's and Lily's honeymoon, never showed on the show.
- A complete website of Ted's "mysterious" identity when he was in college, as seen in one of the episodes is also hosted.
- Barney's Video Resume: The most popular of all, this video has actually been making rounds online. In one of the episodes Barney reveals that he has created an online video resume at BarneysVideoResume.com and the makers took the pain of actually creating one, and a very funny one for that.
- Also there is a page on myspace for the show as well all the individual actors.
I wonder when Indian Television will rise to make such Series that become a cult in themselves. When will Indian TV dole out series which can actually be sold on DVD as seasons and have buyers. I can only remember Sarabhai vs Sarabhai to have reached to some extent of popularity to actually have reruns and reruns and even be sold on DVD, and shown on in flight entertainment systems. Well, sooner or later they would catch up am sure.
The corporate have caught up to some extent in harnessing the internet to spread their brand message further. AIRTEL recently came up with an interactive site impatient tones.com to involve its users. It is also running a promotional campaign to promote impatience theme and is asking the consumers to come up with a version of a 30 second video or a 30 word story on the most boring movie ever seen, and be declared as the next featured impatient one. This is to promote their impatient theme for the airtel broadband that recently launched internet at the speed of 16MBPS.
Now I am off to catch up with the rest of the episodes of HIMYM, while you can chill watching these funny animated spoofs on popular hindi movies.