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T.V. Promos: If It’s Wacky Enough, Do You Tune In?

I see a lot of weird things every day – I live in Southern California, so its to be expected – but over the weekend I saw something in Los Angeles that was really strange. Like, something so weird that I had to stop and remark, “Wow, that’s bizarre.” 

It was a teddy bear on Melrose Avenue, hanging from a noose-like contraption attached to a telephone line. I know the old urban legend, that shoes hung from a line mean drug deals go on in that neighborhood. What the hell does a hanging stuffed animal mean?

Once my friend and I got to our first destination, I was so busy spending all my money on jewelry that I forgot about the bear. We continued to shop all afternoon, and then on our way to get some dinner, we saw another hanging bear! What was going on?

Because I have to Google everything, I did a search when I got home. I tried all sorts of searches: “bears hanging from wires in Los Angeles,” “hanging bears in LA,” “what’s up with the strange bears on telephone lines in LA,” etc., and nothing came up. I happened to mention this to my mother, who turned out to be much more informative than the Internet.

Now, it might not be connected, but she told me that on the ABC show The River, there are hanging teddy bears that have something to do with a character that is missing (sorry I’m not being super descriptive, but I forgot exactly what the circumstances are). I have no clue if they are related, but it sounds like this could be some sort of a promotional thing? The show had it’s season finale a few weeks ago, but it could somehow be tied together.

That got me thinking about promos (from commercials to billboards) that are done for television shows. How creative do they have to be to get your attention? If you see a poster plastered everywhere advertising a new show, do you finally just give in and say, “OK! You win! I’ll watch the damn pilot!”? With complete saturation, I get more annoyed than anything, and it’s especially bad when the promo commercials start about 30 years before the premiere date. I’m sick of the show way before it ever even starts.

Share your thoughts on whether or not huge promotional campaigns really work for you in the comments section, and if you have any information on the random hanging bears, please, I beg of you, share it with me.

By Catherine

Catherine is a Southern California based freelance writer, whose work has appeared in everything from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly. The highlight of her life (so far) was being featured on MSNBC for a story she wrote on Hello Kitty wines...she knew one day her love of all things HK would come in handy.

10 replies on “T.V. Promos: If It’s Wacky Enough, Do You Tune In?”

Elaborate promo schemes usually make me less likely to watch a show. I think I might have liked The Event if I hadn’t been bombarded with a million overly dramatic and vague ads for months before it aired, but by the time it premiered I was just sick of hearing about it and didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of tuning in to find out what it was.

That’s how I am with a lot of things…I’ll probably get jumped on for this since everyone is obsessed with it, but I was so sick of hearing about the Hunger Games that even though a friend let me borrow the first book, I just can’t bring myself to read it. I was finally going to when everyone was reading it for the Persephone book club, but I couldn’t do it. I get like that sometimes with television, but I think I’m actually more forgiving for some reason when it comes to TV.

I’m the worst when it comes to advertisements and promo things. I have come to phase them out so easily, I’ll even forget that I’ve just listened to 10 minutes worth of commercials on the radio before I realize it and switch to another station. I read the ads in the magazines but I look at them in the same critiquing manner I look at the editorials, ie “Why did they choose those shoes? That was the best model for the job? Gah, this font is absurd. That is a great pattern for a skirt.” I tend to forget to notice what they’re actually selling. I don’t have regular TV (just Netflix and Hulu) so most all TV commercials are outside my range and I use Hulu ad breaks to check other websites. But you know, I miss the infomercials. Those were so fun and energetic, I always got my house so clean while watching (listening to?) them. Someday I WILL get that double-sides grill thingy and I will Totally make “Stuffed Soup.”

I think the best way to get my attention is through reviews. If a magazine did a review on it, a blog, or a friend tried it then I’ll be interested. If I see the product at the store and the packaging is not RIDICULOUS, then I may look at it, check it out, do some research, and probably go back and get it. I’m in this process with BB Cream. Allure did a review, a friend bought the Smashbox brand, and I got a sample from Clinique randomly. I haven’t done all the research yet but maybe I’ll get it if they can prove it’s more than just tinted moisturizer marked up an extra $20.

Otherwise, I’m rather oblivious to the ads around me. Kinda helpful.

Reviews are big for me, too. There are a few makeup blogs for example that I follow, and I really trust the writers…if they say a product deserves an A, I completely believe them! I’m pretty good about tuning out ads, too, especially if I am doing something else (like right now, I’m typing this comment and didn’t realize that my DVR was playing a commercial!).

Makeup reviews are So important! I agree! There is sometimes no relation between price and quality. I never would have bought Cetaphil for my facewash if it hadn’t been recommended in a blog. I had no idea something so good would cost so little! I use it all the time now.

And a makeup artist recommended my eyeliner to me – I never would have dropped $22 for it but once she told me how incredible it was (and I got a free tutorial from the counter girl) I was hooked. Also, that $22 liner lasts me 6 months. I never use anything else.

You know what’s really funny, I have no idea when the ad banners went up on this site. One day I noticed a pretty dress on the side bar and I thought it was related to a post. It wasn’t until I clicked on it that I was redirected to another site. Alarming… but I know I liked the clothes – I just have completely forgotten the name of the website…

I absolutely agree with you! The thought of dropping $22 on eyeliner is rather scary, even if it does last for a really long time! Hearing about it from someone who has actually used it is so valuable. And you’re totally right; just because something is super inexpensive doesn’t make it inferior to something triple the price. Hurray for Cetaphil!

The only downside to all this is I totally missed the boat on a nail polish that I now realize I like after seeing an older review. Actually, there were two very similar polishes and I would have loved either one – one was MAC, the other China Glaze – but both were just out during the holidays. Now I’m sad. :(

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