Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lost and televison marketing.

Not long ago, we mentioned how the world of tv fiction reached another level when you could google a fictitious organization mentioned in a TV series and get to a fake website that looked like that of a real company.
This time, ABC has brought the experience one step further by putting a fake ad in its commercial break (this week and last week) during the broadcats of Lost. The ad appears to be sponsored by the Hanso Foundation, an organization found in the television show. (Just to make this clear, this foundation does not exist).

This blurring between reality and fiction may be a new trend in televison marketing. It's a pretty smart move, I think, as it gives the fans a way to continue to explore the universe that Lost takes place in. The interface for the Hanso website is Flash-based and it feels very professional. There are hidden clues that can be found in many different places, some of which have been discovered but are not functional yet. So it gives you unique elements, turning the show into game.
Another illustration of this new strategy is the manuscript read by one of the characers on the show which has been turned into a book. "Bad Twin" read Sawyer on the series is now actually a best-seller on and available at any bookstore (it is a suspense novel dealing with the same issues as the series). Of course, "Bad Twin" is published by Hyperion, which is part of the ABC-Disney coporation, which just happens to air "Lost.".

NOTE: A more pragmatic twist can be found here:
The website url is, notice that it is spelled "subLYMONal". If you go to, it asks if you have the proof. When you click the link, you are redirected to which promises that Sprite will show you proof in June 2006. Proof of what? Good question. Something about being an individual, I don't know, I was too busy trying to figure this thing out like everyone else. So conclusion: The whole adventure is just a marketing plan by the Coca-Cola company to promote Sprite.


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