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5 TV Shows With The Best Marketing Campaigns

Here is the thing. A TV show can have an incredibly talented team of screenwriters, a carefully-written plot, a brilliant cast, and be produced by a major studio. But if it fails to forge a strong, powerful connection with its intended audience, it might not make it past the pilot.

A show’s marketing campaign can make or break the show. This is why TV studios are always trying to come up with creative ways to market their shows. Some work, others don’t. And today, we are talking about the 5 TV shows that saw some out-of-the-box marketing. So, are you ready to be blown away?

1. The Walking Dead

Based on a comic book, AMC’s The Walking Dead series is a perfect blend of horror and suspense. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world plagued by zombies. There is blood and gore everywhere. And despite its end in 2022, it remains one of the most-talked-about TV shows in the entertainment business. But what is not often talked about is its remarkable marketing.

Oh, yeah! The show has seen some serious marketing. For example, it has an official app where fans can upload their photos and it then turns them into zombies. The show also has an interactive platform called The Talking Dead where these zombified fan pics are featured. Pretty cool, right? But wait, it also has a video game adaptation with the same title for all major gaming platforms.

In 2012, the same year the game was launched, the network AMC also released a web-based application called AMC Story Sync. It allowed fans to interact with the show and connect with other fans in real time. The app featured polls, trivia, episode screenshots, and more. But here is something even more intriguing - it had a weekly “kill count.”

In an attempt to promote the show, fans have seen horrifying digital billboards in unusual places, burgers with fake human flesh, zombie shooting-target posters, official merchandise in exchange for blood donations, and many zombie pranks and stunts.

2. Game Of Thrones

An adaptation of the G. R. R. Martin books, Game of Thrones (GoT) needs no introduction. And the huge credit for the show’s unprecedented success goes to its innovative marketing. From KFC’s campaign, “Lunchtime is Coming” to a massive 40-feet dragon skull in Southern England, GoT’s insane marketing stunts have garnered the attention of millions of fans from all over.

In 2014, with season four on the way, the studio released the season-three DVDs with a peculiar stunt. At different checkpoints in Sweden (perfect to imitate the weathering conditions of the GoT world), they planted wooden glass boxes – each with a knife inside and a sign that said: “In Case of White Walkers: Break Glass." Pretty funny and clever at the same time, right?

But wait, we have got another one to blow your mind. Spoiler alert! The show lost many characters in season three and it was just frustrating for fans to see the horrible tyrant King Joffrey Baratheon alive in season four. But to their relief, an agency in New Zealand made a giant statue of the king with an antique system of rope and gears. And for the statue to be pulled down, all fans had to do was tweet with the hashtag #BringDownTheKing. With each tweet, the gear system pulled the statue down a little more. It was quite a sight and a number of Game of Thrones fans gathered to celebrate.

3. Rick and Morty

Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty is a quirky, funny animated TV series that found its massive following. And it goes without saying that the show might not have been what it is today if it were not for its clever marketing.

If you go to Rick and Morty’s official Instagram account, you will find over 100 clips of the show, each about 15 seconds in length. These clips were uploaded even before the pilot was aired on TV. And it must not have been an easy job, mind you. Well, it is about the way the clips have been organized on the Instagram profile – from top to bottom, episode by episode. That means they were posted in reverse. Wow!

Anyway, the clips did a pretty good job of giving the audience a taste of the show. And since they were cut to 15-second segments, it was easy for anyone to share their favorite bits.

4. The Voice

The Voice is an iconic reality vocal competition. Well, the show has a number of international adoptions, which is a testament to its huge popularity and of course, creative marketing.

From the start, the show has been featuring high-profile artists and music producers in the industry. In 2013, the show added the hashtag #VoiceSave, giving fans an opportunity to save one of the lowest-ranking participants. In case you didn't know already, The Voice also has mobile apps and board games that took inspiration from the show. But wait, there is more.

The show’s network NBC also released a Voice experience for Oculus Rift – but with a twist. It allows you to be in the judge’s seat.

5. Narcos

Narcos is Netflix’s one of the most-watched shows. Being released as a Netflix original, one can imagine that its marketing must have been no cakewalk. Unlike network TV, Netflix released multiple Narcos episodes at once - leaving the marketing team no time to build anticipation. So, the approach had to be different.

Instead of releasing content from the show that might spoil it for viewers, Netflix started by enlightening the audience about the culture the show features and the dangerous world of drug cartels.

To make the fans feel involved, they encouraged them to make fan art like Facebook graphics. The company also introduced hashtags like #NarcosSpanishLessons and finally pulled off a very successful marketing campaign.

Bottom Line

And that is a wrap. Hope you enjoyed it. Maybe you can use some of the marketing techniques from this list for your own campaigns. As always, don't forget to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

We’ll be back with more awesome content for you to enjoy. Until then, stay tuned!


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