Did you know the season premiere of Jersey Shore pulled in 5.3 million viewers? I’m pleased to report that I was not one of them — and I hope for your sake that you can say the same — but regardless of how you or I feel about the show, there is no denying the multifarious entertainment powerhouse that the Jersey Shore has become. The characters have done a remarkable jobs of distinguishing their personal brands amidst all the hoopla (the Hollywood Reporter informs us that “The Situation” will earn 5 million dollars this year, thanks to a slew of diverse ventures).
Recognizing the marketing opportunity here, Sony Pictures has gone so far as to actually purchase banter between cast members on the show. Films such as The Other Guys and The Social Network found their way into the show’s conversation (I realize “conversation” might be a stretch here, but let’s remember who we’re talking about). Gotta love the post-ad tactics there, but for loyal fans that count on the likes of Snooki, Jwoww, and Pauly D to keep it “real,” is this a breach of trust?
No doubt someone in Sony Pictures’ marketing department is having the term ‘genius’ thrown at them right now. After all, there are people that will now go see these movies solely because one of the creatures on the TV said they thought they looked funny. Sad? Perhaps. More evidence that traditional ads are a dying breed? You betcha.
As for whether this kind of advertising severs a sacred trust: it’s important to realize that Sony wasn’t buying the conversation of real people (as in, you, me, Joe Schmo, or Suzie Q), they were buying faux-conversation occurring between ridiculous marketing tools. And why not? We’re well aware of the power of word of mouth, especially when it comes to something like a movie review. I’ll go see a movie because a trusted (or ridiculous) pop-culture authority suggests I do so. With millions hanging on every slurred word week after week, we can only tip our hat to Sony Pictures. Well played.
And thanks to BrandFreak for turning us on to the story.
Image via CNN