It’s not often that a video advertisement on Youtube captures my attention enough for me to watch it all the way through, but NBC has done it. More often than not, I will either click “skip ad” or browse facebook while I wait for the trailer to finish because they simply do not catch my attention. My message in this post is this: whoever came up with the marketing plan for this new NBC show called “The Blacklist” is a brilliant strategist, at least in my eyes. I didn’t make this post to talk about how cool the show looks, although I will definitely be watching it. I want to explain why I believe this strategy by NBC will draw more viewers than the average advertisement.
First lets begin by pointing out the obvious: if you can’t grab the attention of the Youtuber within the first 5-10 seconds, they’re going to skip it. Simple as that. This is not a new innovative technique or concept I came up with by myself, it’s common sense. With that said, good job NBC; as one of the largest television networks in the world the audience should expect no less. Then we are thrown into scenes of constant suspense about this character who is labeled as the “most wanted man in the world.” A character bad enough to be put in a chamber similar to Magneto (that is a great concept in itself). With scenes that remind me of some great movies like “Silence of the Lambs” and “Bourne Identity,” I can’t help but want to watch this show. However I don’t want to continue on with a “critiquing” what I think “The Blacklist” is about, so onto the rest of my thoughts.
I want to discuss why I think the video as a whole, is pure brilliance. Most of the time I won’t bother to look into the show/product/movie any further assuming I even watch the Youtube ad; let us keep this conversation on the topic of TV shows. If you watch the whole trailer, you’ll notice that by the end of the 4 minutes and 15 seconds, you will have watched what seems to be the entire first episode. Now that my friends, is what I believe to be the brilliant part. Some might think: “Why would anyone give away the entire plot and show how the entire first episode ends?” Well that’s why you must watch the ending of the trailer. It ends with a cliffhanger for the following episodes: there are even more bad guys to catch. However my summary doesn’t do the show justice (I hope).
With this trailer, NBC planted seeds for the FUTURE of the show. In the ad, I found out exactly what’s going to happen in the first episode (or so I think), yet I still want to watch it to see how it all actually unfolds. I still want to learn more about the badass main character(s), one of which is a female. However the strength in the ad is not that it spoiled the entire first episode (I actually feel that is a strength), but it made me want to watch the next episode, and the next, and the next, and the next, just to see who is on the “Blacklist” of the worlds most dangerous criminals who nobody even knows exists. By thinking outside the box and giving away what’s going to happen initially really got my attention. For that NBC, I thank you. I am VERY picky about what shows I watch; the only series I have ever followed are “Dexter,” “The Walking Dead,” and “Breaking Bad.” How many episodes/seasons this show goes on for, I can’t say, but I definitely will watch it. Hopefully this one doesn’t disappoint.