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Spoiler alert – how many sleeps?

by | Sep 22, 2014 | Marketing, Social media, Teaser, Twitter | 0 comments

By Deborah Wroe

I’m a big fan of Scott and Bailey. I love Suranne Jones, not just because she is from down the road from me, but because she is a cracking actress. I also like Lesley Sharp and the writing on Scott and Bailey is top notch, oh and it’s filmed locally too. After the gripping scenes at the end of series 3 I can’t drive past Costco on Broadway without having a peak in my back seat. If you haven’t seen it I am not going to give it away – it’s a must watch.

Anyway…in the penultimate episode of the latest series ITV announced a spoiler* at the beginning of the episode. I was fuming, fuming I tell ya.  I thought I’d missed an episode. The thing she announced happened right at the end of the episode so I was waiting for it all the way through. It tainted the episode for me. Is nothing sacred anymore?

I know, that last line is a bit over dramatic, but really is anything spoiler alert proof?

Back in the day, or maybe still? Football results on the news said “look away now if you don’t want to see the score”. Is that even an option now?

A good teaser campaign is fun and engaging, a winning marketing tool. But is it harder to execute now in the age of social media, 24 hour news cycle and oversharing? There is a fine line between teasing and going too far and effectively creating a spoiler.

Last Sunday, ITV (again) announced there would be big news in the ad break of Downton Abbey. I watched and waited, watched and waited, and crossed my legs (ad breaks are wee breaks) and then came a teaser for Broadchurch. To be honest I had no idea what the teaser was for, and had to check Twitter to find out. For me that means the teaser failed. What about all those without Twitter who were left in the dark? OR, does it mean it worked as it left people wanting more?

The biggest teaser campaign is annual. We all know it’s coming, and we all know the ending. Yep, Christmas. How many sleeps? It is perfectly fine to talk to children about how many sleeps until Santa comes but for brands to talk to customers about how many sleeps? Really?

A good teaser gets people talking, creates a buzz on social media, builds excitement to an event. The premiere of the John Lewis Christmas ad for example (even though it can be viewed online before the big reveal – see nothing is sacred). Or like when there’s a big story in Corrie and they allude to different endings.

Conversely, lame Christmas chat about how many sleeps, and treating customers with low intelligence is just a really dull calendar!

Getting it right IS harder taking into account all the above, but if I see one more how many sleeps campaign….. WE KNOW WHEN CHRISTMAS IS!

Definition of SPOILER ALERT a reviewer’s warning that a plot spoiler is about to be revealed
First known use of SPOILER ALERT 1994

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