ABC Experiments With New Techniques to Promote “FlashForward”

FlashForward could well be the most eagerly-awaited drama coming this Fall. Produced by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight), boasting a killer cast including Joseph Fiennes and Dominic Monaghan, and containing a premise of epic proportions, ABC could have another hit on their hands. They are going on a marketing blitz in an attempt to create as much buzz as possible ahead of the show’s September 24th premiere. They seem to be following the same formula that made Lost such a success creating chatter and buzz early on as a way of establishing a fanbase prior to the show even airing.
For the uninitiated, FlashForward focuses on a worldwide event labelled as the Global Blackout (or GBO). This GBO results in every single person on Earth experiencing a loss of consciousness for two minutes and seventeen seconds during this time, most people experience a vision of their respective futures six months down the line.
The marketing drive for FlashForward began largely at San Diego Comic-Con 2009. The activities at Comic-Con centred on The Mosaic Collective, a fictional organisation aiming to collate the respective flashforwards of those who entered their booth. The intention of the organisation is establish some kind of pattern and work out how and why the GBO happened in the first place. Tubefilter has an excellent guide to all the goings-on in the ARG.
Now, ABC is seeking to branch out into print advertisements. Variety reports that certain ads for the show include within them odd black-and-white codes. When these are held up to a webcam, the picture on their computer screen turns into a three-dimension advert for the show. Then, once clicked, the pictures turn into minute-plus clips from FlashForward. This new technique has been dubbed ‘augmented reality’, and was produced by ABC with guidance from its web team.
‘We think it’s fun and savvy enough for the group of fanboys that are out there,’said Darren Schillace, ABC VP for marketing and advertising. ‘Once you watch all the videos, it’s a 10-minute experience. In the normal world, you’d never spend 10 minutes with a print ad.’These intriguing adverts will appear in publications designed for a more technology-oriented audience, including Wired and Popular Mechanics.
This all seems very futuristic and space-agey to me, and it shows that ABC is really committed to making FlashForward a success. Initial buzz from critics has been extremely positive, but it remains to see whether viewers will latch on to a show that could well end up with a mythology as dense as Lost‘s. What I do know is that I will definitely be watching.

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