Tag Archives: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

CBS in the UK; too much money and not enough sense?

29 Aug

The last few months have seen London (and possibly elsewhere) littered with at least two different and seemingly pointless adverts from the CBS group of channels.

The first one (above) is for decade old (possibly older) episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on CBS: Action, in a not particularly riveting or eye-catching London Underground platform poster. There’s at least five doing the rounds across London and whereas most companies only pay to have an ad there for a few weeks, these have been there a few months now – throwing money away for a show that fans have already seen and know where to watch it (or just have the DVDs) and non-fans will certainly not be convinced to randomly watch.

The second, and possibly the oddest, are London red bus adverts for Footballers Wives on CBS: Drama. Yes, Footballers Wives; that in-vogue-for-its-time ITV drama that since it’s cancellation has been barely talked about anywhere at all. I think the ads were ‘trying’ to capitalise on the World Cup somehow, but since they are still on the side of buses over a month after the tournament that plan seems to have degenerated into odd-looking adverts for another near 10 year old show.

Why is CBS wasting money on adverts for shows that are either too old and out-of-date for anyone to really care for any more? Or shows that are airing on other channels (the Star Trek franchise is also co-licensed to Virgin 1)?

I’d speculate it’s too much money and too little imagination.

A look at the BARB figures confirm there hasn’t been a significant shift in these numbers for both the shows (though any shift on channels of this size is barely one BARB panel member) and very quick Twitter analysis confirms that there’s little talk about the channels at all (the only mention of Star Trek on the channel is a Tweet from the channel’s own Twitter account). In fact, the most interesting finding from looking at Twitter was that CBS: Drama is showing the brilliant David Lynch series Twin Peaks…

So a bright idea to the guys at CBS: Drama – try taking Twin Peaks, a US show that is criminally overlooked and under-watched in the UK (and certainly more appealing than Footballers Wives), and reinvest the wasted money you’ve already burnt and put it into some stylishly designed, genuinely eye-catching posters to inform people that you have managed to acquire the rights to one of the most critical revered and well-loved television shows ever. Tell the viewers they need to see this show if they haven’t before and tell them it inspired countless shows after it – intrigue them enough to get them into the first episode, hell even play that first episode a few times to make sure they get it. Once they watch the pilot they’ll be hooked to watch the rest.

In fact, here are a few examples of Twin Peaks posters to help you out further:

See? None of these are perfect but all are 10 times more riveting and likely to attract new viewers than some weak Photoshop rubbish that is currently clogging tube station platforms and the side of red buses. Just chuck a CBS: Drama logo on, tell them when they can tune into the first episode and hell stick a few quotes from the thousands of people that say this is the greatest drama series ever made.

You could even try a cheap but clever viral campaign, possibly with a dancing midget (you need to have seen Twin Peaks to get that), but let’s take small steps before anything radical…

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