Marketing the 'Lost' TV Drama Series: ABC's Integrated Marketing Strategy

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG156
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2004-2006
Organization : ABC Entertainment
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Media and Entertainment

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Excerpts Contd...

'Bad Twin'

ABC had commissioned a novel 'Bad Twin,' apparently written by the fictitious Gary Troup (Troup), a character from the show. The book was published by Hyperion Books (Refer to Exhibit IV for 'Bad Twin')...

ABC Raises the Bar

ABC's integrated marketing strategy for 'Lost' was widely appreciated by many media experts and analysts. It was reported that even people who were initially skeptical were won over by the unique multi-pronged campaign. Not only were the fans playing the game, but they were also e-mailing and messaging each other when they discovered new clues. Tom Lowry of BusinessWeek wrote, "Using podcasts, interactive games, websites, and good, old-fashioned hype, ABC has turned a cult-style show into a cross-media sensation." TLE was hailed as breaking new grounds in marketing a TV show. Earlier, advertisers were concerned that consumers, especially those who had DVRs, could skip the ads that were aired during commercial breaks...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

The Criticisms

A few critics felt that the use of gimmicks and alternative media to market TV shows could be a risky proposition as it called into question the credibility of television as a medium. They said that providing online content of the show for free would be detrimental to ABC's affiliates as the viewers would have the option to watch their favorite show online, with fewer ads, just 12 hours after the regular show...


Analysts felt that the integrated marketing effort of 'Lost' had raised the bar with regard to marketing a TV series. They felt that 'Lost' had gone beyond being just a TV show and was fast becoming a lifestyle brand, as it spoke to a specific segment of the audience and provided for an experience that cut across multiple media. In the process, it had also broken through the media clutter and engaged its highly loyal target audience at a deep level. Analysts opined that by leveraging TiVo, DVDs, the iPod, and the Internet, ABC had forced competitors to rethink their marketing strategies...


Exhibit I: Lost Promos
Exhibit II: Lost Season 3 Poster
Exhibit III: The Hanso Print Ad
Exhibit IV: Bad TWIN

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