Spreading the Word-Getting on the Chuck Offensive!

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to how we can help Chuck this season.  I, for one, am tired of being on pins and needles with the show hovering “on the bubble” for renewal every year.  I have eaten more Subway sandwiches than I care to count (although I do truly enjoy them), have participated in letter writing, the We Heart Chuck American Heart Association campaigns, etc.  I want us to get on the offensive, NOW, instead of always reacting to things.

We all know that the Nielsen ratings system is old and antiquated.  I try to keep up with various developments as new ideas are thrown around, but there doesn’t seem to be a new system in sight.  We will just have to deal with what we have.  So, with that in mind, what can we as fans do?  More after the break.

Word of Mouth.  Word of mouth is one of the easiest things to start with.  I understand that many of you are hesitant to try to entice your friends and coworkers to watch the show after the disappointment of S3 episodes 1-13.  I am taking hope in what we got in the back six and the information that came out of ComicCon and am once again comfortable to plug Chuck to anyone who will listen.  Let’s hope TPTB don’t make me regret it!  I use my FaceBook page to spread the word.

Entertainment Media.  Help fellow fans by sharing links to articles and blogs about Chuck here at ChuckThis.  Make an effort to add to the dialog when you have time.  It simply amazes me how much positive press Chuck gets, and yet it can’t attract the audience (or at least the audience they have doesn’t have Nielsen boxes!).  I know a lot of people who watch the show but aren’t Nielsen viewers.  Immediate outlets that come to mind are Entertainment Weekly and E! There are columnists like Mo Ryan’s and Alan Sepinwall, who both write regularly about Chuck.

Give the gift of Chuck.  Season 3 is being released on DVD on September 7th, 2010, here in the US.  You can also go to iTunes and gift the seasons to your friends.  Season 1 is $19.99 ($29.99 HD), Season 2 is $39.99 ($49.99 HD), and Season 3 is $35.82 ($53.82 HD).  I also have given friends playlists of artist used on the show.  You can gift those as well (on iTunes).

Now I know you’ve heard most of that before.  My latest addition to the word of mouth campaign involves the sponsors.  I’m currently reading a book on Social Media Marketing.  I propose that fans keep a list of sponsors on the show, mostly of expendable items.  What I mean by that is that most of us can’t run out and buy a new {insert car brand here} to show our support.  You can, however, go out and test drive one.  You can buy cleaning supplies, eat at sponsor restaurants, etc.  Each major market is going to have slightly different sponsors.  The follow up to this is going on the sponsors website and letting them know you tried the product because you saw their ad on Chuck and your (hopefully positive) review of their product.  This really does have to be sincere.  We can’t have the Chuckverse spamming sponsors.  Your review of the product can influence someone else to purchase it, which effects their profits, and gets Chuck a mention.

I wish I were more creative, but this is all I have been able to come up with so far.  We have a very intelligent readership and I hope you can add to the Chuck offensive!

-amyabn

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About amyabn

My name is Amy and I'm in the active Army as my profession. I love the show Chuck and want to see it succeed for many seasons to come. My twitter handle is amyabn.
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24 Responses to Spreading the Word-Getting on the Chuck Offensive!

  1. joe says:

    Here’s one more thing to try.
    Reward TV is a site that supplements Neilsen information with data derived from viewers who don’t have Neilsen boxes, but who are willing to spend a few minutes on-line.

    It works like this: once you register (it’s free), you can take a brief test about any show you’ve seen in the last 24 hours. The questions are about the show but they’re mostly about the commercials.

    My impression is that the questions do a pretty good job of determining the effectiveness of the advertising, which can’t be a bad thing.

    Ideally, it will show the advertisers that their monies are well spent on quality TV shows like Chuck that attract an attentive and loyal following.

    I’m not going to go so far as to endorse Reward TV, because I haven’t done the research yet to prove (at least to myself) that the data gets to the advertisers and isn’t misused. But I intend to do that research before the season starts.

    Update: Here’s a review of RewardTV. Two things to note: it’s possible to earn “points” towards gift certificates, and towards chances to win prizes. Also, the quizzes are relatively short – 10 questions – and are available until midnight the day after the show airs (not 24 hours, like I mistakenly remembered).

    • amyabn says:

      Nice Joe! That’s the spirit! I remember that being listed by ChuckTV a while back and I did it too. I’m not sure how often you can/should go on and use Chuck as your show, but I guess the more the better (once a week after Chuck airs).

      • joe says:

        More than glad to help in this effort, Amy. I wish WordPress had a facility to “bump” posts to the top. This one should be put upfront a couple of times more before the season starts!

      • Crumby says:

        Yeah let’s do a “Out of the bubble” campaign! 🙂

  2. Crumby says:

    Seems like someone got the same feeling about promoting the show now and not when it already is on the bubble: here KrisWatchesOn’s second vid on Youtube after “Emails To Ellie – Chuck Promo”.

    Chuck Promo – The B Team:

    • amyabn says:

      Thanks Crumby, keep ’em coming!
      I wish I had those skills to add to the Chuckverse.

    • joe says:

      Heh! “It’s in our hands. America is counting on us.”

      I don’t think they were talking about either Devon or Morgan. They were talking about us! 🙂

  3. Nick says:

    Word of mouth and promotion by NBC are the only things that are going to work in our favor.

    This season, however, we have something new to promote: Linda Hamilton. Terminator 2 raked in over 500 million at the Box Office. If we can turn those people over to the Chuck side hopefully we can live on the nicer side of the demo. 😉

    • amyabn says:

      Nick, I totally agree. I have been a vocal critic of NBC and their lack of advertising for Chuck. It is a catch-22, however, as they are at the bottom of the heap in the network ratings. Fewer eyeballs to see the ads. I think they should emulate the USA model (which is ironic because Mr. Gaspin, the new head of NBC, cut his teeth over on USA). I watch Covert Affairs, Burn Notice, and White Collar. They have their stars cross promote in their ads and they do a LOT of advertising. Imagine if NBC did the same thing with the spies of Chuck and the new JJ Abrams spy show, Undercovers (I think I have the title right). Anyway, they are both NBC shows and both have spy couples.

      As for hyping Linda Hamilton, I agree there too. She brings a lot of hype and T2 cred with the fanboy (and girl) set. A little Sarah Connor/Sarah Walker ass kicking compilation would work wonders!

      And finally, I don’t recognize your avatar-welcome!

  4. Robert H says:

    All of the above are very good ideas. Joe’s input of
    Reward TV is a great idea, doesn’t take a lot of time, and would provide a very good supplement to
    Nielsen ratings.

    Nick’s more traditional ideas of word of mouth and
    NBC promotion are very good also. Perhaps with the
    ideas of Reward TV they could provide a very potent
    1-2 punch to spreading the word and regain lost viewers.

    One suggestion for NBC promo with addition of Linda
    Hamilton and a lighter touch (based on what the producers are saying so far, if true, on Season4)
    maybe NBC could promote a “NEW” Chuck or something
    to that effect that might rouse old viewer curiosity
    and attract new viewers to give the show a shot in the arm that might increase viewership. Just an idea. I’m not sure how practical it would be. Just
    spitballing here.

    One thing is certainly going to be needed for sure
    to regain lost viewers and attract new ones is that
    the show’s quality MUST improve substantially from
    last year. There really is no real substitute for
    that. If this occurs then good promotion and word of mouth will assert themselves and greatly help
    the show’s chances for survival. If quality improvement does not occur then all of the promo
    in the world will not help and Season 4 will probably be the last for Chuck.

    It’s “make it” or “break it” time. Let’s do all we can to help make Season 4 successful, thanks.

  5. Robert Dammers says:

    There is, unfortunately, nothing we can do to make Season 4 a success. The shows have been written, and the first couple are, I believe, in the can. They are what they are.

    I cannot, without qualification, recommend Chuck at present – the risk of another mis-plotted, poorly written catastrophe shouldn’t be dismissed just because they now realise that audiences were didn’t warm to Shaw, and that splitting Chuck and Sarah made the show annoying and boring. They put only negligible effort into plotting for season 3, and one wonder where the skills are suddenly going to come from.

    I don’t mean to be relentlessly negative, and I really hope that they earn a season 5. But they have to sell it – the fans can do nothing for them that they will not do for themselves.

    Robert

    • amyabn says:

      Robert, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I would argue that since they have started shooting and will debut S4 soon, I’m leaving hope/optimism that the feedback loop will be much shorter and they can do any necessary course corrections. S3 was shot and in the can and then they got the back 6 order (pretty close to the end of shooting the first 13). I’m not sure they did a deliberate course correction based on feedback from 1-13 at that point or not but I’d like to think so.

  6. jason says:

    amy – I have violated this hope already with some of my posts this summer, but overall I plan on giving TPTB a very wide berth in telling their story season 4, and I will try to be the most positive I can in finding good / great in the story, rather than complaining about the bad (Joe obviously consistently did this well in season 3, as did many others, but not me). Positive energy has a strange and unexplainable way of moving thru groups of people in my real life experience, I see no reason the same could not happen with the Chuck fan universe.

    • amyabn says:

      Jason, trust me, I have had my share of negative too. I stopped recommending Chuck to friends in S3. I just really enjoyed the back 6 and am hopeful for S4. It also doesn’t hurt to have Joe being positive all the time! It does rub off!

  7. hiswings says:

    I am very hopeful for S4 and if TPTB learned their lesson about PLI’s then we can look forward to an awesome year. Let’s remember too, that because NBC was so tardy in the pick-up of S4, TPTB lost valuable writers and producers to new shows moving forward.

    It certainly can’t hurt to have Linda “Sarah Conner” Hamilton become MamaB and effectively, the fans can take a great deal of credit in getting her on board – if it is true that she approached them saying she had heard she was MamaB.

    As far as promoting Chuck to our families, friends and co-workers – I say let’s get on the band wagon once more and give it our best shot!! Grass roots efforts are what have kept this little engine running for so long and we are intelligent people – we can pull it off again. I say it is high time, the industry learn to take it’s cues from technology and we certainly are behind that wheel on all the forums, fan pages, comic cons, twitterers and Facebook pages.

    So come on Chuck Fans, let’s pull together – not tear apart what we love so dearly – if we want Chuck to continue, then it’s up to us. In the famous words of Morgan Grimes “what have we got left in our tanks?”

  8. PeterOinNJ says:

    Up above, Jason wrote “Positive energy has a strange and unexplainable way of moving thru groups of people in my real life experience, I see no reason the same could not happen with the Chuck fan universe.”

    So true. Many years ago I attended an lecture given by Clayton Barbeau where this was illustrated. He called two random people up on stage, made sure we didn’t know each other (yeah, I was one of them) and told everyone he was going to demonstrate how we are affected by positive and negative thoughts. He asked me to hold out my right arm and for the other person to put both hands on my arm and on his signal, to push down as hard as possible to bring my arm down to my side. He then whispered to me that he wanted me to think of the saddest/the most negative thing that had ever happened to me. I immediately flashed back to a highly personal (sorry, not sharing), profoundly disturbing point of my life and when I indicated I was ready, Clayton said go. My arm went down without any resistance.
    Then he asked me to clear my mind as best as possible and extend my arm again. This time, he whispered that he wanted me to focus on the most positive/happiest moment in my life. I immediately thought back to my wife’s smile when she said I do at the altar and my smile told Clayton I was ready. He told the other person to push as hard as he could – but not matter how hard he pushed, my arm stayed straight out to my side. Don’t believe it, try it with two friends – just don’t tell them what you are doing before hand.

    So what’s the point of this long drabble. Well a friend of mine who I gave my S1 & S2 Dvds to started to get into the show until he ventured on to a Chuck fan blog. He was so turned off by the negative comments he read about S3 that he gave the DVDs back telling me he wasn’t interested in investing any more time in something that was obviously so bad and turned off so much of the fan base. He quoted someone from the blog saying that’s why the ratings went down and never recovered, so why bother.

    I understand and share the passion many have about this show, but honestly, when I read some of the comments and entries I wonder why I even watch it. And then I remember – even as imperfect as it is, it’s still one of the best things on TV.

    So okay, imagine Clayton Barbeau whispering in your ear – think of something wonderful,something positive about Chuck. Think of the times you were happiest while watching it. Now imagine your arm is the ratings – and let all that positive energy flow through it. It might not work, but it sure will make us happier we have a fourth season!

    • joe says:

      Oof! Peter, I hope it wasn’t this blog! I have tried to emphasize the positive when I can. But I’ve always thought that approach becomes extremely ineffective when it’s either insincere or obviously uninformed cheer-leading. I try to avoid that too by being honest and realistic about what I see when I write about an episode.

      In general, that’s what I’ve seen in the comments, too. Of course people have pointed out and even discussed the shortcomings, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t take too much digging to discover that there are plenty of things that people enjoyed about each episode.

      • PeterOinNJ says:

        Joe, you have always presented a personal, balanced point of view. You’ve expressed your likes & dislikes and when I read your entries I never leave wondering why you even bother to watch the show. I believe that like me, you are looking forward to S4. Selfishly I do wish that more people would adopt your style and not rehash over & over again their negative opinion about S3. Everyone IS entitled to their opinion and we have read and heard them many times since January – enough already.

        As for what blog he read – well, I’m going to take some of my own advice and not rehash – the past is the past. My motto has always been rejoice and move on! I rejoice that we have S4 and I move on to a season of more adventure, misadventure too (to paraphrase Don Quixote).

      • atcdave says:

        Peter, we’ve done posts here before, and I’m sure we will again, about why we watch and what it is each of us love about the show. I can honestly say I found S1 and S2 to be some of the most enjoyable television I’ve ever seen in my life. S3 not so much, at least not until late in the season. Had I been new to the show at the start of S3, I probably never would have made it half way into the season (shoot I might not have finished the season premier).

        When you ask why some of us watch, you have to know our commitment is based on a very deep affection for what they did before; and a hope they can recapture a certain magic (as they did a little from 3.13 on).

      • Chucknewbie8 says:

        While it would be nice in theory to “move in,” I think it’s also important to acknowledge with new eyes what has gone on before and what went right.

        In my opinion this is the purpose of blogs/discussions/message boards. In 2040 we’ll still be talking about how Shaw (yuck) was the greatest bummer of them all. That’s just the nature of the beast.

        But on the same vein, we’ll be discussing just how much Honeymooners felt good.

      • Chucknewbie8 says:

        *on

        I really should read my posts before sending 😀

  9. Fever says:

    Just read that you can now watch season 1-2 online on NBC and the WB. Now would be the time to get friends / family members / collegues to catch up on the old episodes (without paying anything) and thus (hopefully) making them CHUCK fans just before the 4th season starts airing!

  10. Rick Holy says:

    And it never hurts to keep “buying CHUCK stuff” (if you’re financially able). For birthdays, holidays, etc., I buy people the DVDS (that’s money I’d have to spend anyway, so I spend it in support of CHUCK and hopefully give friends/family something that they’ll enjoy as much as I have).

    Also buy stuff from the NBC store. Did I want ANOTHER Chuck tee shirt? NO. But I bought the “It’s Never Safe in the Car” or “Stay in the Car” or whatever the latest tee shirt said. And of course the new “CHUCK” tumbler.

    I know in the end that ratings will determine the fate of the show, but when you’re “on the bubble,” I think the execs DO look at things like merchandising, etc.

    And ALWAYS remember Subway. I happy advertiser that supports your show is a great thing to have in your back pocket.

    In the end we have to approach every season like it’s the last. That’s why I will continue to soak up every episode and enjoy, Enjoy, ENJOY (even more now, especially since all the “other love interests” storyline will apparently – THANK GOD – be only a bad memory of the past).

    Keep up the great work, everybody. And KEEP ON CHUCKIN’!!

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