Monday, August 21, 2006

We Decipher Viral Marketing Billboards, So You Don't Have To



You may have seen this billboard around town -- it asks very ominously, "What Happened in There?" and directs the curious to Only They Know.com.

What is it? An ad for ABC's upcoming drama "The Nine." (Good pilot, by the way -- one of my picks for New Shows to TiVo.) The series revolves around nine strangers who bond after survivng a bank heist gone bad -- but only through flashbacks (a la "Lost") do we slowly figured out what kind of bad stuff happened during those hours.

The giveaway on the billboard: The second "e" in "happened" is a backwards "9."

Yes, you'll be seeing more of these kinds of sneaky billboards as the fall TV season approaches. It's not enough to just tell you what's on TV anymore, they now want to make you work for your promo messages -- perhaps figuring you'll feel more invested by the time you get the pitch, and more likely to watch as a result.

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