Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Arrested Development's Over-reaction?

Netflix famously released the new season of Arrested Development in one hit in 2013. They did so because habits had changed and the practice of binge viewing had emerged. It didn't go well

Some habits have changed, but TV viewing is not collapsing (despite the received wisdom). The rationale was that people like to binge on serials (see Grant McCracken here ) but it struck me as an odd decision even if some people's viewing habits have changed.

Arrested Development fans didn't fall for the programme in this way (it had been 7 years since the series was broadcast). Netflix's revival of the series was sufficiently publicity-worthy. That was the event. No further stunt was needed

Arrested Development wasn't  viewed that way before so to do this required a change in the writing method which runs the risk of reducing the magic.

Arrested Development and other hip things have a position, they stand for something. But this was reactive marketing that aligned it with every other series and again diminshed the specialness of the event.

Bingeing is not fully understood - is bingeing watching the whole series in one sitting as people were prompted to do here or is it watching series rather than run the gauntlet of tv schedules? Wouldn't it have been enough to release batches of shows and let the tension rise?

Some reviewers watched episodes on a one by one basis and asked their audience to do the same and comment thereon. To reflect and digest as originally intended rather than hoover it all up because you can and because you can wear the bingeing badge.

Movies arent 8 hours long. TV viewing on average is 4hrs a day. So why encourage people to watch 8? It's bizarre.and it distorts and leads to reviews by people who are watching it in a different way than they did before, watching differently written programmes than they did before and reacting differently from how they did before.

Behaviours change and that's important to track, but understanding the context of that change is much more important.

P.S. If you're wondering why I give such an old example, the reason is simple. This was a post I'd drafted at the time and not got around to posting. It was interesting to notice that how I thought then is not so different from how I think now and to note the marketing fuss made about a trivial act of PR. Tactical marketing needs to be more strategic than this - done for a valid reason, not simply because it's possible.


Post a Comment

<< Home