As we approach the fall television season, networks are scrambling for ways to get people to watch their new garbage TV shows. There are the standard ways, like terrible billboards, and then there are more inventive ways, like handing out pilot scrips and beach towels on the jitney to promote Revenge, ABC’s Hamptons murder show or whatever, or handing out gross air fresheners to promote Last Man Standing. From The Hollywood Reporter:

To capitalize on the Tim Allen comedy’s “manly man” theme, the network is handing out barbecue chicken-scented Allen air fresheners at hardware stores, gyms and auto-parts stores. Football games will host show-themed food trucks and “man caves.”

“I just have one question — Where do I sign?!” – All men. Some other campaigns include sets of twins handing out shot glasses and mirrors that say “truth” and “lies” on them, to promote the CW’s Ringer, and girls dressed up as the girls from Fox’s 2 Broke Girls handing out coffee. Personally, I love it when networks do promotional stunts like this. I remember when White Collar was premiering there were a bunch of guys in the Times Square area handing out white button-down shirts that were all extra large and kind of unwearable looking and didn’t even say White Collar on them, I don’t think. And that garbage show just got renewed for a fourth season so I guess clearly the extra large white button-down shirt thing worked very well. The only problem I have with this is that not ALL of the new TV shows are going to these lengths. What the F? What’s wrong with the other guys? ASLEEP? ARE YOU ALL ASLEEP? Just in case, we can all cover their bases by developing some great campaign ideas for them:

H8R (CW): To promote the show about B-list celebrities basically confronting bloggers who talked badly about them, B-list and below celebrities walk around NYC and LA and yell at people through megaphones, very close to their ears, then they hand them Warheads candy with the H8R logo on it, and then they step in front of them when they’re trying to walk away and block them for a few moments while making very intense eye contact.

Up All Night (NBC):  To promote the show about people having a baby, Will Arnett and Christina Applegate lookalikes hang out outside of Planned Parenthood and hand out baby-shaped alarm clocks that wake you up at all hours of the night and instead of a crying noise they have a guy doing a crying baby impression saying “Up All Niiiiiiiiiiggghhttttt.”

Free Agents (NBC): You get to have sex with either Hank Azaria or Kathryn Hahn.

New Girl (FOX): Fox employees walk around NYC and LA handing out glasses to pretty girls. Just as the pretty girls put on the glasses, they are overlooked by an attractive stranger.

Charlie’s Angels (ABC): Women dressed up as Charlie’s Angels walk around Times Square and kidnap lucky strangers for an elaborate Charlie’s Angels themed crime solving scheme that takes like a week and they don’t tell the strangers what they’re doing the whole time to make it more authentic and then at the end they give them a Charlie’s Angels iPhone case and that’s when they’ll realize what they’ve been doing for the past week.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter (FOX): Compensated mothers across the US are organized to be a little rude to their teenage daughters on the day of the premiere.

Grimm (ABC): To promote this show about a monster hunter, REAL monsters are released in NY, CA, and in a few places in the midwest. As the monsters go on a tear of death and destruction, a few actors/models are sent out to hunt them wearing Grimm t-shirts. If anyone kills the monsters before the actors/models get to them, they are also given a Grimm t-shirt. If the monsters kill anyone before the actors/models can get to them, t-shirts are given to the surviving family members. If there are no surviving family members, a Grimm t-shirt will be placed on the body at the time of burial.

Comments (36)
  1. Desperation is a stinky cologne, fall TV programming.

  2. Advertising doesn’t work on me. The only time it would work is if they actually paid me to watch something. The only reason I watch most TV is because there’s usually a dude I want to sleep with in the show (see: Hung). I certainly don’t want to sleep with Tim Allen, so I wont be watching. – All Men

  3. Come on, manly-men smell like their own damned selves.

  4. i’ve been waiting for 15 years to hear him grunt again. so pumped.

  5. I’m a guy who likes sports and general dude stuff, but I fail to see how any of that makes Tim Allen funny.

    • I was an extra in a Tim Allen movie. Off set he seemed like a very nice guy, funny, etc. It’s too bad he’s made NOTHING but horseshit movies

      • I dunno, I think it might be the other way around. It’s not that the movies are awful, it could be that he is awful.

        My bf and his dude friends were staying across the hall from Tim Allen in Vegas and some how ended up having drinks with him. They said he was a total douchy a*hole. Then again, the bf & dude friends were going through an “entourage” phase, so that could have been it…

      • Actually Galaxy Quest is FUCKING AWESOME!

  6. Sigh…we don’t get free promos in the “wasteland” America

  7. This is a good, manly place to point this out –

    Why are the banner ads taunting me with the fact that I don’t have Fox Soccer Plus and therefore can’t watch Liverpool (aside from a shitty illegal feed) on Sunday morning? It’s like they know how to hurt me.

  8. Ok, I wasn’t planning on commenting here, but when I clicked I was overwhelmed with “Why the fuck does it look like the back of Tim Allen’s fucking head?!” So there. I guess.

    Also, I got a glow-in-the-dark promotional not-Livestrong bracelet to promote Supernatural, when that show came out, and I hear it is still very popular. So yep, this works, and hard.

  9. finally somebody started marketing products for MEN! am i right, guys!?!?!

  10. speaking of…flipping around last night, the gf and I came across a show called “Manswers” which prompted a “no-fucking-way” from her and a “i’ve GOT to see what this about” from me.

    in case you were wondering, it was pretty much like reading Maxim while incredibly high on cocaine.

    anyway, i’m pretty sure the pitch for this Tim Allen show was him saying, “You know, I never really got a chance to make fun of that whole ‘metrosexual’ thing. let’s do that.”

  11. In order to promote the CW’s Secret Circle, real witches will perform a spell on you to turn you into a mouse, while also telling you that you’re pregnant, your family died in a car accident, and your best friend discovered that you are sleeping with her boyfriend. In true CW fashion, all of these issues will be resolved by next week. They will also hand out promotional broomsticks.

  12. I heard that to promote #@#$ My Dad Says, they started something called a “Twitter Feed”

  13. They should promote “Are you there, Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea,” by hitting people over the head with a sock full of rocks. Then everyone will have a bad headache, sort of like how you feel after you have had too much vodka! Nailed it!

  14. “WHYYYYYY?” – Don Draper

  15. Oh, cool, they’re using food trucks! Have you guys heard about this whole food truck thing? Food trucks!

  16. It’s me! Grandma! Hi!

  17. I hate to be this person, Kelly, but I the Grimm murder show is on NBC and the one about fairy tale characters trapped in a Maine town under false identities is on ABC. I only know this because I had a long, drawn out conversation with my mom about which shows to watch and which to avoid two days ago. Also, they’re filming the crime NBC one in Portland so they shut down a bridge for it. And until I just Googled it, I was convinced the murder Grimm show was on CBS. Easy mistake, I’ve been writing about TV for more than a decade and couldn’t get it straight.

    • Also: Liked the teenage witch show last night, thought Ringer was fucking awful. The baby one on NBC is fine but I am not a breeder so the jokes aren’t funny to me, though I am sure they are to my friends. Actually I love everyone involved with that baby show but I didn’t laugh once — maybe once at Maya’s Oprah. I want to like it but ugh. Maybe it’ll grow up to be good like Parks and Rec? I hope so, I like pretty much everyone involved.

  18. Fuck you guys, how do I get one!?

  19. Shut up and take my money!!!! I need this in my car!!!

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