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Better Call Saul: Saul in the mind

AMC’s critically acclaimed Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul tells the story of criminal lawyer Jimmy McGill, the man who eventually becomes Saul Goodman and the lawyer of Walter White.

While the promotion for the show’s first two seasons mainly revolved around Jimmy, AMC seized a unique opportunity for the show’s third season, which premiered on April 10: the return of iconic villain Gus Fring and his fictional fast-food chain Los Pollos Hermanos, both of which fans are very familiar with from Breaking Bad.

The Los Pollos Hermanos experience

Drug lord Gus Fring and his fast-food restaurant chain Los Pollos Hermanos, which is mainly a front for money laundering and illegal activities, first appeared in the second season of the original series. […]

April 27th, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Snapchat meets TV

Snapchat meets TV

Snap’s recent US$24bn IPO generated a wave of headlines, as did NBCUniversal (NBCU)’s whopping US$500m investment in the company. Many might wonder what the US studio sees in the California-based start-up behind social messaging service Snapchat, but the latter’s gradual evolution into a media powerhouse offers plenty of clues.

The dynamic and engaging platform continues to grow in popularity and is embraced by millennials especially, a hard-to-reach generation that gradually shifts its attention from TV to mobile. […]

Santa Clarita Diet: Incorporating the Series’ Themes into Engagement Initiatives

Zombies have long made their way into popular culture and show creators who wish to pick up on the subject run the risk of boring audiences with yet another horror series about the dread of the undead. Victor Fresco, the showrunner of “Santa Clarita Diet”, chose to go another path by creating a twisted comedy that picks up on critique of modern suburbia intermingled with gory zombieism.

The release of the first “Santa Clarita Diet” teaser left many viewers puzzled and raised more questions than it answered. Apart from being baffled by the dazzling cast that includes movie star Drew Barrymore, viewers are also left in the dark about the overall genre and theme of the show. The teaser first seems to sing the virtues of one of those modern diets any stereotypical middle-class suburban wife and mother might wish to try out, when a sudden dark twist is added, as the diet requires eating ‘whoever you want’. The stark contrast between suburban everyday-life and gory cannibalism is what makes this Netflix Original so unique.

Netflix releases original horror comedy series "Santa Clarita Diet" / Copyright: Netflix, Inc.

Netflix built the promotional campaign for “Santa Clarita Diet”, on this odd interplay of comedy and horror and promoted the unusual diet of main character Sheila Hammond as a “real” diet that will leave people feeling more alive and energetic, just as the suburban mother and wife feels after turning into a zombie. The show was released worldwide on February 3, 2017. […]

February 23rd, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Chat about chatbots – a new engagement tool for broadcasters

Over the past two years, artificial intelligence systems and automation technologies have become increasingly popular tools for enhancing sales, marketing and customer services.

Chatbots in particular have gained immense popularity in 2016 and numerous companies and brands have launched their own bots in order to enhance their services and engage with customers.

Although not yet as widely discussed as another quickly evolving technology – virtual reality – chatbots may influence the future of not only brands but also entertainment.

Media companies and broadcasters can benefit from the use of chatbots, and the new experiences they enable, as well. Over the past few months, they have already begun to dip their toes into chatbot waters, illustrating the potential this technology offers and how it presents a new way to extend the content offer and drive fan engagement.

Whether chatbots really evolve into a useful, value-adding technology for the TV industry remains to be seen. But some TV and production companies are already putting them to work. We put together some pioneering chatbot examples, covering possibilities for formats and drama series, which might pave the way for future best practices. […]

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – You’ve been Gilmored

Netflix launched its "Gilmore Girls" revival in November
Almost a decade after it went off the air in 2007, “Gilmore Girls” returned with four 90-minute episodes on Netflix on November 25. The new episodes let fans revisit the beloved characters and settings and brought them back to Stars Hollow, the fictional Connecticut town in which the series is set. […]

December 8th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , |

C21Media’s FutureMedia: VAST MEDIA talk about marketing Mr. Robot and host the panel “Social Etiquette”

C21Media's FutureMedia: VAST MEDIA talks about marketing Mr. Robot and host the panel "Social Etiquette"

Attending C21Media’s FutureMedia? Don’t Miss Our Two Sessions:
Marketing Mr. Robot
Social Etiquette

C21Media is hosting their annual FutureMedia conference on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at Picturehouse Central in the heart of London’s West End.
VAST MEDIA will present a case study on Mr. Robot’s marketing initiatives and host the panel “Social Etiquette”, which will focus on original storytelling through social platforms. […]

funk by ARD and ZDF – Funking things up

funk by ARD and ZDF - Funking things up
Two years in the making, the web TV service and digital content network funk by German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF finally launched on October 1. The project’s working title had simply been ‘Junges Angebot’ (Young Offer) until only a couple of days before the launch.

Aimed at 14- to 29-year-olds, the digital-only network steps away from traditional TV towards online and social media platforms. Two of the pubcasters’ digital TV channels – EinsPlus and ZDFkultur – were shut down on September 30 to make way for funk, whose creators insisted from the very beginning that their youth ‘channel’ will in fact have nothing to do with linear TV. funk is more of a multiplatform network than a TV channel. […]

Cocaine Campaigns and more – How Netflix (re)introduced Narcos

On September 2nd, Netflix releases the second season of “Narcos”. Based on real-life events, the drama follows the rise and reign of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the Medellín drug cartel. To shorten fans’ waiting time for season 2, Netflix recently launched the Tumblr-based site ‘Narcopedia’, an interactive experience that takes viewers through the history of cocaine and provides in-depth information on the war on drugs. The whole experience draws parallels between the actual events and how they are portrayed in the series.

Narcopedia: A website takes viewers through the history of cocaine and the war on drugs portrayed in the series
A website takes viewers through the history of cocaine and the war on drugs portrayed in the series

With this comprehensive digital encyclopedia, which basically recaps the first season (it does not include the events depicted in season 2 yet), Netflix continues its overarching strategy to build awareness for “Narcos” by bringing the historical, true side of the show to life in the digital space. […]

Marketing Mr. Robot

Marketing Mr. Robot

Originally published at C21 Media

Nicole Greiner, research analyst at VAST MEDIA, explores USA Network’s launch of the second season of “Mr. Robot” – the first in a new monthly series of articles from VAST MEDIA, tracking digital content marketing innovations in partnership with C21‘s FutureMedia.

After launching in June last year, hacker drama “Mr. Robot” quickly became USA Network’s signature show, redefining the cabler and forging a new path for its original dramas. And while the series has been a hit among viewers and critics alike, its clever and unexpected marketing has also received widespread acclaim.

“Mr. Robot’s” ongoing marketing campaign is as radical and as much a dramatic departure from regular efforts as the show itself. It impressively shows how broadcasters can build a devoted audience of hardcore fans by targeting not the masses, but rather a niche demographic that can identify with the themes and ethos of the show. […]