Saturday, August 9, 2008

A nasty piece of work

Regardless of what you think about Gossip Girl as a show, you have to kind of admire their marketing. First there was last season's hullabaloo surrounding the phrase OMFG (which I myself have started to use on occasion as a smirky homage), and now they've taken to using awesomely negative quotes about the show from the Parent's TV Council, such as "nasty piece of work" and "mind-blowingly inappropriate." Why it works...and why this concept might be valuable to you in your writing: perspective. What is horrible to someone might be delightful to another. Similarly, the fact that other people find something horrible might make it even MORE delightful. The more parents get upset about Gossip Girl, I bet the more kids will want to watch it - and this is exactly what the marketing dept is capitalizing upon.

In writing, this is a great way to compare your characters. On an episode of Swingtown, there was a charity benefit for a porn star. Each character reacted to it in their own way; some were excited, some intrigued, some disgusted. Then they reacted to each other's reactions, and some of them changed their minds. It brought out a lot about the characters and their relationships.

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Anonymous said...

Ha, I love it. Then again, usually if the Parent's TV Council hates it, you know it's good. :)

Sofluid said...

I haven't actually seen any of Gossip Girls yet because I've been in Australia for the year. What do the parents hate so much?

Nicole Leigh said...

I love your blog. I recently graduated San Francisco State University with a degree in Radio/Television. I know I have to move to L.A., but in the meantime I have been applying to at least fifty jobs every month since graduating. I applied for production assistant jobs (small production companies as well as the big ones up here: pixar, dreamworks, lucas), agent assistant jobs, etc with no luck. The closest I had was an interview at a talent agency in SF. The interview went amazing, they called me back for a trial day, as they called it. I worked from 10-3 (for free, they did buy me lunch) then they told me they really liked me, they started training me and I thought I basically had the job. A week later I received an e-mail saying that they could not offer me the job at this time. I am stuck in a rut and becoming depressed as the days go. I can't wait to move to LA, but in the meantime, do you know of any agencies in the San Francisco Area that I could be applying to? From reading your blog it seems my best bet is to get a job at an agency.
Thank you!

Amanda said...

I guess the parents don't like all the sex, drinking and drugs. But honestly it's nothing new, is it?

ath said...

Borrowed from the "Fight Club" DVD blurbs, and, farther back, the "lemon" ad as shown on an ep of "Mad Men"... Still eye catching on those billboards and such.

Dan In LA said...

This advertisement reminds me of the original "Desperate Housewives" campaign. And for the record, I hate them both. They advertised the sex and the edginess instead of advertising the characters and the story. It was enough to turn me off to both shows before I saw a single episode. If sex is your selling point, you must be missing quality writing.

Of course, this isn't entirely fair, as the marketing people - not the writers - create campaigns. I just think the ads do a disservice to both shows - which I think are far better than their cheap marketing. Though, as a 24-year-old male, I'm not exactly the target demographic of either show. But, I guess that's sort of my point. By targeting the audience you want, you may be losing the audience that you could get.

Jim Cartwright said...

Yeah, these ads are great. I first saw them driving down fairfax and I found them to be really effective in grabbing my attention. I recently went through the first season and loved it. All the word of mouth and these ads got me to watch the show (male, 23), so sorry Dan those marketers got at least one of us early twenty males.

As a writer, this show is great when it comes to emotional change. You know, emotional change, when a character enters a scene happy and by the end of the scene they exit unhappy, or vice versa. If you were to map out the show scene by scene you will usually get an almost perfect emotional rollercoaster from this show(-+,+-,-+,+- : for any who understand the plus/ minus scene thing)