Last fall I became a fan of the ABC TV series “Invasion” and not just because one of the main characters is a blogger, although in a typically dumbed-down TV sort of way.
Recently, I was wondering when the series would start up again, so I went to the ABC Website in the hopes of finding out some more information. Instead of a traditional show page or mini Website about the series, the ABC Website links to a fake blog titled “Dave’s Diatribe” located (rather cleverly) at:
The ‘blog’ is ‘written’ by Dave Groves, the character in the show that is the blogger, played by Tyler Labine, an actor from Brampton, Ontario. I doubt the actor writes the ‘blog’ himself, though.
“Dave’s Diatribe” features “Dave-Approved Extras”, profiles of Dave’s “Family, Friends & Foes” and “Links to the Truth” (a quasi blogroll). The whole thing is wrapped up in a faux cheesy design complete with frosted beer glasses.
On the one hand, it’s noteworthy to see a blog (sort of) being used in this manner to promote a television show, especially considering ABC used to be a pretty stodgy network.
“Dave’s Diatribe” is so obviously fake, however, and blatantly toes the corporate party line, that once you get over the initial “wow, that’s cool” reaction it becomes a let down.
It awkwardly intermingles informal blog ‘entries’ by Dave with official flak-approved marketing copy. Even the ‘comments’ seem overly sanitized; I wonder if they are even real.
I do admire the fact that the ‘blog’ is written in character (as opposed to being an on-set “journal” by the actor, which has been done to death), but I am not aware of ABC or the show’s producers promoting the blog’s URL (or even its name) in the show, which screams lost opportunity.
Call me old school if you like, but where are the downloadable desktop wallpaper images of the mysterious “Dr. Frosty” (played by Kari Matchett, yet another Canadian) and the other attractive cast members?
Finally, and somewhat ironically, there’s also whack of more ‘mundane’ content related to the show that I would be interested in (such as information on when the next episode will be aired) that is obscured (or has been omitted) due to the blog format.
ABC, I commend you for promoting “Invasion” via this fake blog, but in your attempt to jump on the blogging bandwagon you have forgotten some of the marketing fundamentals.