Not What a Normal Fan Would Do!

As we wait with baited breath for NBC’s decision on renewing Chuck (boy, this is really getting old btw, year after year of nail biting!) I was inspired to take at look at the fandom.  More after the break.

Chuck fans are legendary, and I say that humbly as one of them.  The cross section of humanity is broad.  We have a well educated demographic, a bit older than I think they want, loyal, dedicated, and amazingly creative.  We have international fans who also share our passion.

Two years ago fans rallied with the Subway campaign, “Finale and a Footlong.”  There was also the charity drive, “Have a Heart, Save Chuck” in which fans donated to Subway’s favorite partner charity, the American Heart Association, in the name of our favorite nerd, Chuck Bartowski.  Fans raised over $18k!  This was different than other fan campaigns.  No sending in peanuts ala JerichoChuck fans made a difference while making a point.  Some fans tried the flash mob idea.

Chuck consistently wins fan poll after fan poll, and another effort is underway to try and get Yvonne the recognition we feel she deserves with an Emmy nomination.

More than one fandom and many of the readers over at TVBTN agree that the Nielsen system does not adequately represent viewers and their habits, regardless of what show you are fighting for.  We’ve been introduced to NBC’s TAMI system (thanks Faith), which at least takes more of the online and dvr habits into account.

So if you don’t feel you are being counted, what do you do?  This last year, we have gone after advertisers, thanking those who support the show, and seeking out those who we think would match the feel of the show as well as us, as consumers. With the ever expanding use of social media, I am excited about flipping the script on the industry.  Who knew that the nice folks who make the Sleep Sheep have a Facebook site?

There is another Twitter campaign going on. #NotaNielsenFamily with @WeGiveaChuck. We here at ChuckThis like it. They ask that we tweet responsibly. Basically while you tweet “I saw your ad during #Chuck on @NBC. Thank you #NotaNielsenFamily,” or any variation you prefer, they ask that you only do it once. More importantly, take a photo of the products you did buy (small item stuff that we can all purchase, like Dove chocolate, or Tide To Go Stick) and tweet a photo of it to the advertisers.  During Chuck vs. the Wedding Planner it was a rousing success. The in-show sponsor, @SuperShuttle in particular was floored. Yesterday Super Shuttle linked on their account the EW article chronicling the campaign. I believe any and all campaigns, though it might not singlehandedly save the show, helps it.

Take a minute to review our Thank the Advertisers section of the blog.  We have the opportunity to be that vocal minority to communicate with sponsors.  I already contend that we are a much larger group of fans than we are credited for (via Nielsen), but the key lies in spreading the word.

I’m proud to be a Chuck fan and I’m proud of the out of the box thinking that has gone into trying to save the show.  Keep the ideas coming!  We are running out of time.


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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32 Responses to Not What a Normal Fan Would Do!

  1. Faith says:

    Great post Amy! It’s time to do what we do Chuck fans!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much for explaining what we were supposed to do! I started out doing it wrong on Monday and then tried to copy everyone else. This helps a lot. I rarely use twitter so I am not up on all the stuff related to it. Are we supposed to put an @ or a # in front of the company to make sure they see it? What is the difference?

      • patty says:

        That was me. Using a friend’s computer at work and forgot to fill in the top!

      • joe says:

        Patty, the way twitter works is that the @ is used to directly address a company. If you know, for instance, that company X has a twitter ID (they always advertise saying something like “We’re @X on twitter!”) then they will see it.

        The hash tag (the # symbol) is not an address, but an identifier that people can use in a twitter search. (If you go to your own twitter page, then you will see the search box). If someone wants, they can automagically see all the tweets coming in with that hash tag.

        For instance, if you were interested in all the Chuck-related tweets, you might try searching for #Chuck. Everyone who’s tweeted something Chuck specific could highlight and more or less advertise it by using #Chuck in their tweet, and everybody searching for it would see it, whether or not they were following that person.

        “Hey, @Subway, the fans of #Chuck appreciate your patronage! #NotaNielsenFamily” shows the tweet to Subway and everyone searching on Chuck and NotaNielsenFamily tags.

      • Faith says:

        Happy to help Patty. And if you ever have any question just send me a tweet over @jemjoven and I can usually answer swiftly.

        It’s as Joe put it. @Pepsi insert message here. #NotANielsenFamily. But make sure that your @sponsor is the correct one. That makes it more complicated but thats where we come in to help :). For example @subway isn’t the right twitter handle, it’s actually @Subwayfreshbuzz, there is a quick list on we give a chuck as well as on our very own thank the advertisers page. Don’t be alarmed though I’d say 99% are direct brand names like @Pepsi or @dunkindonut 🙂

        Keep up the good work and thank you for helping to save Chuck 🙂

  2. Ernie Davis says:

    Posting a reminder to help save Chuck while deployed overseas? Not what a normal fan would do. But then who ever thought we were normal. 😉

    While I’m cautiously optomistic that we’ll get renewed it is specifically when things are on the razor’s edge between renewall and cancellation that things like involved fans and happy advertisers might make a difference. While there are no guarantees I say it’s still worth it, even if all it gets is publicity for the show and maybe several hundred extra Nielsen viewers checking it out (I can dream can’t I?). And in the sad event that Chuck is canceled at least we won’t have to wonder if we could have done more or if the great cast and crew of Chuck (who are apparently personal friends of Faith’s) get the message that we’re grateful for all the hardships and late nights they endure for us fans.

    • amyabn says:

      Yeah, we’re not normal, but I’m ok with that! 🙂 I finally got to watch Wedding Planner last night (it took a whole week to download) and got so much enjoyment out of it. I really appreciate the hour a week (not including DVR and iTunes rewatches of course) of escape from a not so nice place. It was awesome to head into work smiling and genuinely happy because I was able to laugh and be touched by these characters. I don’t want to have to give that up yet!

      • joe says:

        Amy, that’s so great.

        We think about you every time there’s news from the area. And lately there’s been too much of it.

    • Faith says:

      Heh heh heh, we’re like white on rice, peanut butter and jelly, sick to my stomach ;).

      But in all seriousness part of the conversation with ZL involved how he felt that advertisers could be the way to go. He mentioned the Buy a Subway Finale being ingenious because it did involve Subway. Also, I did mention the thank the advertisers to him, if that matters any :P.

  3. joe says:

    Great post, Amy. I’m (still) of the opinion that whatever we do to show the advertisers (read the $ men) that we support them for supporting Chuck, can’t hurt.

    It may be true that NO ONE who purchases advertising time at a network has any say in when the ad will be shown. But I doubt it. Money talks and I’m sure the networks are all in a position now where they have to listen, especially NBC.

    And in this economy, so are the companies trying to sell their product. It’s a chain that starts with the consumer, so ultimately, the only money involved is ours. Speaking to anyone and everyone in the chain to say we’re engaged is a positive step and can never hurt.

  4. atcDave says:

    Thanks for a great and timely post Amy. You are performing above and beyond the call of your Chuck duty!

    (have you seen Wedding Planner yet?)

  5. thinkling says:

    Thanks for the great post, Amy. So glad you enjoyed Wedding Planner. I know from experience that it has tremendous rewatch value. 😉 🙂

  6. Faith says:

    • atcDave says:

      I wonder what he’s hearing? Anyway that’s awesome news!

    • Ernie Davis says:

      That’s heartening. I suspect that a lot of happy product placement advertisers or perhaps new potential ones are letting WB and/or Schwedak know they’re interested in a season 5. This represents money for WB and the show to further cut costs, and practically guarantees premium ad buys for NBC. At least that’s my guess as to how Schwartz knows it’s having an effect.

      When you think about it, it makes sense. What most advertising is paying for is basically name recognition. When we tell them directly they got what they paid for it can only help.

      • Big Kev says:

        So how does ad buying work on TV? Can advertisers specify that they want their ad run in a specific program? A specific day? Or slot? Or is it all a sliding scale where you pay more, depending on how targeted you want to be?

      • atcDave says:

        Big Kev I don’t know exactly how it works, but advertisers clearly have some input in what they’re supporting. We occasionally see effective boycott campaigns (“we will stop buying your product until you pull your ads from **** show…”) and of course with Chuck we’ve seen the opposite, since S2 advertisers have been pleased with the Chuck audience out of proportion to the actual ratings.
        Obviously product placements know exactly what they’re buying into, and we’ve already heard Super Shuttle was very pleased with response to their spot in Wedding Planner.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Kev, there are several ways it is done. Some is bought in blocks where the buyer may not even know the show the ad will be on, just that the network promises X number of eyes and then makes good with additional airings until it hits the right number. The premium ad space is what the networks reserve for themselves and sell at a higher price. For that you can specify the show, and perhaps even the time. Product placement advertisers usually want that in addition to their product placement for maximum impact. I linked to an article about some of The Calculus of Canceling Shows.

      • Big Kev says:

        Thanks for the clarifications guys! More reading for me in the morning 🙂 For now, it’s way past my bedtime, but Josh’s tweet is a very encouraging one to sleep on.

    • amyabn says:

      Ok all, we need to hit the current advertisers and target some new ones! Great news for an otherwise “meh” day.

  7. thinkling says:

    Don’t know if this is helpful or not, but this page lists specific sponsors for specific episodes. That way you can be more specific in your tweet.

  8. thinkling says:

    Here is yet another poll to vote for Chuck’s renewal. You know what to do. 🙂

    Scroll down a little to find the poll.

    • patty says:

      Half a million votes and Chuck is losing by 1 stinking percent!

    • joe says:

      With 570000 votes in, two shows have 98% of the total vote. Chuck is behind, but not by all *that* much.

      I must say, I am surprised at who the current leader is. I won’t be too surprised if this changes.

  9. Bill says:

    I just discovered Chuck in 2011, but thanks to the miracle of digital media I’ve seen them all, in order. I have zero expertise in the art of interpreting ratings, and I really hope that the optimists among you are correct. But what I see is this: NBC’s decision is at the economic margin. Whether they go with Chuck or gamble on a “down on the list” pilot, they are unlikely to see any blockbuster returns. WB has far more skin in the game. They are looking at four seasons of sunk costs on which the future ROI is exactly zero if they don’t get to syndication. Getting there has a known cost, but an unconstrained, and potentially huge upside, if they handle it right. (Of course “handling it right” is not something that the Hollywood suits have done particularly well in the past.) But WB is where the Chuck/No Chuck decision will be made.

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