ADVERTISING FOR IDIOTS: ABC Network Promoting ‘Motive’ For The Ladies
The following is a trailer for CTV’s crime procedural show ‘Motive’ that premiered early this year. Pay close attention to the mood and tone set for the crime procedural based on idea from a guy who worked on Dexter. Not the actual Dexter. He’s a fictional killer past his prime. This is a cop show about catching killers before they hit their prime. HUGE DIFFERENCE. Looksy…
Moody. Dark. Gritty. Similar to lots of intense murder porn that you’d find mostly on CBS’s ‘Criminal Minds’ and shows of the same ilk. Normally not my cup of tea but I found myself enjoying the show’s fresh twist for making me spend an extra two more minutes to figure out who killed the victim instead of the normal thirty seconds. I’m obviously not the target audience mostly because I watch Storage Wars for the deep character work. This show will be rebroadcast on ABC this summer to fill the holes in a rerun schedule missing new soapy fare from ‘Scandal’ and ‘Revenge’ due to lack of thesaurus suggestions for ‘thriller involving women’.
Network Upfront happened this past week. What is that? Only just the best place where all the networks from ABC to ZimZamDoo display all the network’s latest attempts to entice you to choose their wonderfully produced shows that they’ll likely cancel in two weeks over another network’s same miserable content. Motive on CTV has done solid ratings for Canadian standards but ABC decided to go in a different direction with their promotion of the show for their mostly female viewing dominant network. As star Kristin Lehman (loved you in ‘Drive’ not starring Ryan Gosling) would put it:
The promos on ABC are … they’re very different than CTV. [Laughs] [Laughs] ABC, they cut good trailers. It’s fun, it’s slick, it’s awesome. But it’s such a dramatic departure from the way we promoted it. And it’s interesting because all the European people that follow the show that tweet to me were like, “Wait ‘til they see that the show’s better than the trailer.” I was like, “Really? Great, good, I’m glad you think so because this seems to be a trailer that’s super-slick and sexy and I hope it’s because ABC is totally behind this.”
It’s so much lighter. It’s similar to the way they make [“Motive“‘s lead-in] “Rookie Blue” look, and take away a bit of that darkness. I kind of felt that way too. But I don’t know. I don’t know. Because here’s the thing. ABC, they cut a good trailer. I love the music. It would get me excited to watch the show. It looks really great. It’s a different industry down in the States. It’s a cutthroat business based on a totally different financial structure. Having been on eight kajillion pilots that sometimes made it to the air and sometimes didn’t, I can tell you. That’s why I chose to do a show in Canada. But I think it’s exciting that they’re promoting it the way they are.
And I don’t really get what makes it on American television. I can only say that I think we’ve made a show that is really solid entertainment and if people tune in because they love these slick, sexy ABC trailers, I have to believe they will also love the show even if the trailer is a puffed-up version of the show.
Would the network suits responsibly run the same commercial, minus bumper for another network, to properly convey the actual scope of the drama? Of course not. Excuse me. That wasn’t conveyed in the right context. The proper response would be HELL NAH, GIRL. WE GOT TO SELL IT TO OUR LADY PEEPS OVER COSMOS AND SOME BRIEF GOSSIP ABOUT CHRISTINITH’S NEW HUSBAND.
Advertising budgets can go into the stratosphere on network television. Minimizing the costs is key to making sure that the most eye balls can watch what you’re shilling while still having a little run around coke money for the weekend. So, if you’re ABC, why break the formula perfected on such luminary efforts like ‘Castle’ and siphon off the fumes of that show to pump our new Canadian business partner? Add a sassy nondescript pop song, some leftover strobes from Star Trek Into Darkness, and a few misconstrued comedy bits for the full swing into bait and switch land. You can’t pay enough money for this type of emotional honesty with your viewership.
Having seen all 13 episodes, I can attest that what you’re getting is more along the lines of a less Ted Danson version of ‘CSI’ added with the resurrected corpse of Curtis Manning Roger R. Cross adding some nice cheese curd to this meat sweat inducing poutine. Good not great material. I just wish ABC gave you more of shit for you to make up your own opinion before deciding that all you wanted was more of the same.