This past week, the highest-rated show in the history of the Oxygen network, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, aired a preview of the first episode of its second season on the Web network Glam. While the episode will air on Oxygen on January 10, astute fans of the show and others interested in the show had the chance to view that second episode as a holiday treat.
I'll have to admit that I know nothing about the show, but I'm also guessing that I'm not in the target demographic. In return for getting an exclusive preview of the show, Glam is promoting The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency through online banners and e-mail correspondence with its network of bloggers, according to Jon Lafayette with TelevisionWeek.
Those bloggers who are on the Glam e-mail list consider themselves the Glam Network, and the show has already gotten some attention from a few of the blogs, showing that the campaign has at least had a limited amount of impact. For instance, Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle features an ad that links to the Glam preview of the episode and a post dedicated to the show.
Of course, you can't control the message. The Second City Style preview may not exactly be what Oxygen had in mind, since the author, who providing the link for others to look at the show, says, "Mind you, after watching 10 minutes of a show last season, I had to turn it, but who am I?" Not exactly the epitome of viral marketing.
Then again, you have to give bloggers the latitude to say what they would like, and I am not criticizing Oxygen's decision in this case to work with Glam. One just has to have thick skin about their product if they want to help promote a word-of-mouth campaign. Try as they would like, companies can't control those mouths (and if they are fabricated viral marketers, the FTC might have to say something about that, or else the company may end up with egg on its face...just ask Sony and Wal-Mart!)
Back in June, I wrote about another interesting Oxygen initiative, in which the company launched an on-demand preview for an original movie it would be airing called, Banshee. At the time, I wrote, "The on-demand option seems to be a good way both to experiment with shifts in distribution and also to catch those flipping through on-demand options with a strong piece of programming tied to Oxygen. This way, those who might consider Oxygen programming as inferior or who may never even give the channel a shot can get a taste of sample programming."
The network continues to try innovative new ways to get people involved with their programming, and it will be interesting to see if these marketing tactics will help increase the popularity of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency in the second season.