Fall TV: Fun OOH stunts for season’s new shows
Broadcast networks push crop of new series with stunts like escape rooms
September 19, 2016
For media buyers, the new fall TV season is always an exciting time of year. Which shows will break out? Which will struggle and get canceled before Thanksgiving?
Another fun thing about the broadcast networks’ crop of new fall shows is the stunts to promote them.
These days an effective out-of-home stunt can generate social media and viral buzz just as valuable as the never-ending TV promos.
Here are a few of the most creative stunts the networks have used to promote this fall’s new shows.
NBC’s ‘Timeless’ plays with gravity
The network used a “Timeless”-branded edition of the Gravitron ride, a staple at county fairs around the country.
Riders step into the Gravitron chamber and lean their backs against the wall. When the ride begins, it spins around faster and faster, using centrifugal force to pin riders to the wall. The effect makes riders defy gravity as they’re suspended in the air–kind of like how the “Timeless” stars defy the laws of physics as they hop through time.
For the “Timeless” stunt, NBC also shot photos of riders that they were able to share in social media.
Escape room for Fox’s ‘The Exorcist’
Regular haunted houses are so 2015.
The cool thing this year is escape rooms, best described as an interactive haunted houses.
A group of people are locked into a room for a set amount of time. To get out, they need to solve a series of puzzles.
To promote the Sept. 23 premiere of “The Exorcist,” Fox will jump on the escape room phenomenon at Escape Hotel Hollywood in California.
Twenty people at a time will be locked in a series of show-themed rooms for up to 45 minutes. Visitors will encounter special effects, demonic sounds, actors and creepy decor, all leading up to a room with an “real-life” exorcism.
The super-creepy stunt will run the weekend the show premieres, Sept. 23-25. Tickets are free and available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
CBS comedies chauffeur Comic-Con guests
In this particular case it was free rides. The network gave attendees a much-needed break following hours of shuffling from exhibit to exhibit.
The vehicles used were certainly eye-catching, a kind of stretch-limo version of a golf cart.
The carts were wrapped to promote CBS’s crop of new fall TV comedies this season, including “Kevin Can Wait,” “The Great Indoors” and “Man With a Plan.”
‘Designated Survivor’ hits the conventions
So what better place to promote the show than in Cleveland and Philadelphia during the Republican and Democratic National Conventions over the summer?
The ad copy was somewhat ominous, simply reading, “Our next president will not be elected.” It caused some politically minded folks to think twice before they realized it was actually an ad for the ABC drama.
In the show Sutherland plays the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He’s assigned to serve as the designated survivor–a cabinet member who sits out the annual State of the Union address–and becomes president after a terrorist attack during the speech.
The campaign included bus ads, full train wraps and 15-second digital ads on screens in transit stations.
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