Perfectly Marketed TV Show Somehow Fails

Top Headlines

Recent News

How Campaigns Spend Their Money

The 2016 election cycle is shaping up to be the most expensive in American history, with most presidential candidates already having raised tens of millions of dollars for their respective campaigns. Here is a breakdown of just how that money is spent:

Fan Can’t Believe He Left 11 Seconds Into Ronda Rousey Fight

RIO DE JANEIRO—Kicking himself for not staying all the way until the end of the fight and subsequently missing its thrilling finish, local mixed martial arts fan Marcos Acosta expressed both disappointment and regret Tuesday for leaving UFC 190’s main event between Ronda Rousey and Bethe Correia after 11 seconds.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Fatherhood

  • Father Apologizes For Taking Out Anger On Wrong Son

    ELIZABETH, NJ—Moments after losing his composure with an unwarranted emotional outburst, local father David Kessler reportedly apologized to his son Christopher Thursday for erroneously taking out his anger on him and not his older brother Peter.

Perfectly Marketed TV Show Somehow Fails

NEW YORK—Perplexed executives at NBC announced Monday that the network has canceled the new series City Buds, after the half-hour sitcom garnered abysmal ratings despite a flawlessly executed $250 million marketing strategy.

Even with smart, nuanced, consistently high-quality billboards, the sitcom only lasted four episodes.



According to NBC’s marketing department, the series premier of City Buds, a show about two male friends who reside in Chicago, performed exceptionally well during the eight minutes preceding its first commercial break. But then, for some unknown reason, the ratings plummeted. The incomparably hyped show never recovered in the following weeks, and the decision was made to scrap City Buds after just four episodes.


“We can’t for the life of us figure out what went wrong,” NBCUniversal vice president of marketing Maureen Murphy said. “We had the leading creatives in the business working on City Buds. The best copywriters, top-notch PR guys, not to mention a world-class graphic design team. From the moment we started branding the show, we did everything perfectly.”


“Maybe we didn’t make it clear enough to viewers that this was a new comedy from the producers of How I Met Your Mother,” Murphy added. “But we ran that over and over in all of our TV spots. I just don’t know.”


Members of NBC’s marketing department struggle to figure out where they could have possibly gone wrong.



City Buds, which, in addition to the two incompatible roommates, featured a comical dog and a grumpy Latino landlord, was the subject of the most intensive advertising campaign in NBC’s history. Beyond the typical Internet, billboard, magazine, newspaper, television, and radio ads, the network also employed cutting-edge guerrilla marketing techniques, including a sticker campaign, personal canvassing, and 14,000 urinal communicators installed in public restrooms across the U.S. that, when activated by a stream of urine, informed patrons of the date and time City Buds was scheduled to air in their market.


“There was something for every demographic in this campaign,” senior brand manager Earl Kinney said. “I don’t understand why, at the very least, Caucasian males in the 12 to 24 set didn’t tune in. How could they not identify with these kinds of promotional devices?”


Kinney added that it was “inconceivable” that a television program supported by 1.25 million promotional coffee-cup sleeves could perform so poorly.


Most disappointing to NBC executives was a weeklong interactive “roadblock” the network purchased on the home page of the popular social-networking website MySpace. The full-screen pop-up ad described the series as “Just Shoot Me on a half-caff cappuccino—to go!”


Experts say that, while there have been several documented cases in the past of television programs underperforming in the face of brilliant marketing campaigns, a direct cause for the bizarre phenomenon has not yet been determined.


“We may never know what the ‘X-factor’ is that can turn an expertly marketed show into a complete failure,” said Richard Bertrand, an analyst at the ACNielsen market research firm. “Who can say why the masterfully promoted Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, for example, was canceled after just six episodes, while a show such as The Office, which quietly debuted in an undesirable time slot, is now one of the most successful shows on network television?”


Due to the failure of City Buds, NBC said it will redouble its marketing efforts for the show’s midseason replacement, Nerds!, a sitcom from the creators of City Buds starring David Hyde Pierce.