CBS's odd viral promotion for The Ex List - AUDIO
Was she in trouble? Was someone waging a campaign to trash this poor young woman? All those questions filled my head until I saw the phone number below, typed repeatedly in those all-to-convenient tear-away strips: 1-877-7-BELLA1.
Bella. That name sounded familiar. That's when it hit me: It was Elizabeth Reaser's character from CBS' new sitcom The Ex List.
Obviously, this was an oddball attempt by CBS to get people to call the number and find out about the show. Fascinated by the weird attempt at a "cool" viral campaign, I whipped out my cell phone and took a bunch of pictures of the sign before going into my seminar. When I called the number this morning, I got the following message:
Ex List Promo (0:26)
Weird, huh? Reaser still talks to you as if she's just a normal girl who's looking for her soulmate because a psychic told her that one of her exes is "The One." Then it mentions the date and time of the show's premiere: "October 3, 9:00 on CBS." But it doesn't mention the show's name. In fact, there's a clunky edit where you'd expect the name of the show to be.
I'm not sure what CBS is going for here. By mentioning the network, they're letting people know that they're promoting a show, but by not giving the name of the show, they're trying to continue the charade that this Bella woman actually exists. Is this really going to get people curious to tune in on October 3? My guess is no. And, anyone who's been watching CBS this summer has seen the promos for The Ex List a number of times, so they've likely already decided whether they're interested in the show or not.
I will say this, though; the sign does draw a person's attention. But unless they make the connection I did, they'll likely take quick note of it and forget about it before they've even finished crossing the street. Nice job, CBS!