The ABC’s of Marketing

“Next on ABC’s Castle…”

Where exactly is the ABC castle, and can I take a tour?

Is anyone as bothered by this as I am? I’m not sure when exactly it started. Is it new this season? Did it start last year? Or does it actually go further back, but somehow I managed to tune it out before now? Whatever the case, lately I’ve been really annoyed by ABC’s incessant need to brand all of its shows with the network name.

I know, most people don’t pay particularly close attention to commercials or promos in the first place. If you haven’t noticed this before, give a listen to the next ad for any show you may watch on ABC. You’re not watching ‘Modern Family’, or ‘FlashForward’, or ‘Desperate Housewives’. You’re watching “ABC’s Modern Family,” “ABC’s FlashForward,” and “ABC’s Desperate Housewives.”

This really hits the heights of grammatical absurdity when the network name is tacked onto a title that already has a possessive in it, like “ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.” I also find “ABC’s V” to sound especially silly. I’m looking forward to the day someone develops a series about the war on drugs for the network, so that I can hear the promos for “ABC’s D.E.A.”

Maybe you can shrug it off, and perhaps I should as well. Nevertheless, for the time being, it really grates on my nerves. This is just the latest extension of the trend that has caused every network to plaster logos in the corner of the screen during every program, just in case you should have an overwhelming need to remember what channel you’re watching and can’t be bothered to hit the Info button on your remote. Does anyone ever really watch a series and think, “This is a great show. What a shame that I’ve forgotten which network I’m watching right now. Oh hey, look, it’s ABC!”? Somehow, I doubt it.

Of course, what the network is really trying to do is subliminally influence you to watch more of its shows. If you like ABC’s Lost, you might also like ABC’s FlashForward and ABC’s V. They’re from ABC, after all!

CBS has a similar strategy. But instead of placing the network name before show titles, it just adds “CSI” to everything. That seems to be working pretty well for them.

Am I being ridiculous? Maybe a little. Honestly, I find this all much of a piece with those horrible animated advertisements that roll out across the bottom of the frame during far too many shows. ‘Lost’ fans will undoubtedly remember ABC’s gigantic “V Countdown Timer” earlier this season, which actually blocked out some of the subtitles during scenes with Korean dialogue.

I’m not a fan of all this obnoxious self-promotion, is what I’m saying. Every time I hear “ABC’s Lost,” I think to myself, “Yes, I do believe it is.”

This has been High-Def Digest’s The Bonus View’s ABC’s of Marketing.


  1. Dick Ward

    “CBS has a similar strategy. But instead of placing the network name before show titles, it just adds “CSI” to everything. That seems to be working pretty well for them.” – I laughed 🙂

    This comment, written by High-Def Digest’s Dick Ward is brought to you by The Bonus View, Internet Brands and High-Def Digest.

  2. besch64

    I think the suits at ABC have realized that they actually own arguably the greatest television show of all-time in Lost, but signed away the rights to the writers to let them end it on their own terms. It would be like remembering you traded a Honus Wagner rookie card for a juice box in 2nd grade.

    So now they’re being really protective of everything else.

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