There have been a few words that have defined both parties lines: Change, Experience, Leadership. But of course there’s the now ubiquitous term “Maverick”. Tina Fey would tell you that her and her running mate are gonna go to Washington and get “all mavericky.” Its possible that this moniker could back fire on McCain and company.

Well the marketing team at ABC Entertainment will tell you that they are proud to be called Mavericks. On June 17, 2008 ABC Entertainment’s Michael Benson and Marla Provencio, executive VPs of marketing, were awarded one of four inaugural Marketing Maverick awards. The awards honor the best in television marketing for the previous year.

“‘Maverick’ is such a fun term,” said Benson. “To us it says that you’re innovative, progressive, and you’re willing to take risks and push forward. And that’s something Marla and I really believe in, so being recognized for that is really an honor,” he said.

An article in Television Week outlined some of the ways they are changing Television marketing. One of my favorite things about what they’re doing is the use of the Internet to promote their show “LOST”.

Here’s a link to an Information Week article giving a rundown of some of the techniques they are using to embrace the “groundswell”. One emerging viral marketing technique they’re utilizing is a concept known as an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). ARG’s have been for a round for a long time, but with the advances in the Internet, ARG’s have finally hit their stride.

Last Winter, ABC rolled out their very own ARG during the writer’s strike to keep its fan’s invested in the show. The game, find815.com, helped explain some of the back story revealed in the previous season finale.

They’ve also developed and supported wikis that host all of the facts about the shows characters, stories, and actors. They also have developed websites for the fake companies and organizations mentioned in the show. Fans will watch the show and then attempt to find any on-line content ABC may have created. They’ve also created places that recreate the show’s sets in the world of Second Life, allowing die hard fans to recreate scenes from the show, or create new adventures in between episodes.

All of this is possible because the shows fans don’t just tune in every week. They are not only highly invested in the show, but they also tend to be very high on Forrester’s Technographic Ladder. ABC recognized this and they have taken their marketing to a whole new level. They are paving the way for other shows and other networks to embrace the Internet age. People now spend more time on-line than they do watching TV.

Benson and Provencio realized that if they’re going to get them to turn back to the small screen, you have to entice them on the computer screen.

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