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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The 'Lost' Marketing Experience Contd...

In fact, ABC had developed an integrated marketing campaign for 'Lost' that cut across various media channels - official and unofficial websites, fan message boards, websites that provided details about the characters, podcasts12, text-message updates, print magazines, newsletters, Video-on-demand13 (VOD), etc.

The integrated marketing effort strove to keep the 'Lost' fans involved during the summer reruns, when viewership generally fell drastically, and before the launch of the third season. A tie-in book called 'Bad Twin' was also launched, which went on to become a best-seller in the US. ABC resorted to publicity stunts and TV and print ads that gave a real feel to the show.

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For instance, ABC aired ads of a fictitious organization that featured in the show. These ads provided vital clues to TLE and directed the fans to different websites that provided clues. Several websites were created by fans to discuss, analyze, and share clues.

In addition, from May 2006, ABC provided free ad-supported episodes via In October 2006, ABC began to provide downloads of 'Lost' to iPods14 via iTunes15 for US$ 1.99 per episode. These downloads proved quite popular and surprisingly did not even affect the viewership of the TV show. In fall 2006, ABC was set to launch a serialized version of 'Lost' videos that could be downloaded into mobile phones. A video console game and a mobile game were also being developed based on 'Lost'.

Analysts felt that ABC had succeeded in developing an online community of 'Losties' through its integrated marketing effort...

Excerpts >>

12] Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files over the Internet, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The term combines 'iPod' (a popular portable audio device from Apple Computers) and 'broadcasting'.

13] Video on demand systems allow users to select and watch video content over a network as part of an interactive television system. (Source:

14] iPod is a popular digital music player developed and marketed by Apple Computer, Inc. It has a simple user interface design and built-in hard drive.

15] 'iTunes' is a proprietary media player application for playing and organizing digital music and video files developed by Apple Computer, Inc. This program also helps iPod users to manage their music files on their iPod and to connect to the iTunes Music Store (also sometimes referred to simply as 'iTunes' or 'iTMS'). The iTunes Music Store is an online music service run by Apple Computer, Inc. Users could purchase digital audio music files from the iTunes Music Store.

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