Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Is Lost Marketing 3.0?

This could also be titled: what I’ve learned from Lost’s community of enthusiasts. Because it’s amazing- if you’ve ever tapped into it. I listened to about 10 Lost podcasts this weekend, alone. Those are the number of podcasts posted regarding a single episode. Granted, “The Brig” was one of the all time best episodes of Lost, and it aired last week, but still. The community of fans is very impressive. In a recent meeting with a top ad agency on new marketing techniques, I mentioned that I was a fan of Lost, and it’s like I lit a fire underneath their new media director. He couldn’t get enough of that topic. So it got me to thinking that maybe comparing Lost & Its Fans to marketing was not so crazy. What is it about Lost, and the way they’ve structured (or not structured?) and beyond its obvious artistic merits, that earns it such an active, engaged, and interested community?

1. Wit
The executive producers- also writers of some episodes- are very, very clever. They are funny, and they have a humanizing personality expressed in all consumer interactions. They started an “official podcast” where they ask and answer their own questions, intermixed with real questions from the posts on a bulletin board. Their fans write more than once a day on the bulletin board! The porducers also starred in a broadcast TV ecap episode, sitting facing the camera, laid back and answering questions honestly and yet also with some secrecy. So they’re not afraid to stand up and say, this isn’t a man behind the curtain, these are two regular guys (that are funny) self-deprecating, and they are writers, and they have written the show. It’s great in its simplicity. More and more companies hide behind a “pleases everyone” corporate messaging, when in reality sometimes just having some honest to goodness person who actually works there stand up and say, “Hey, I’m part of this. Me.” does far more than an even-toned, color-neutral logo.

2. Engagement
They totally engage with their fans. They love the sites, they respond honestly – mockingly, with attitude- but never obsequiously. The product they sell is fun and has many layers, but as a “company” and/or as the creative element behind their product, they subscribe to a very honest and human representation of themselves. They make fun of the fans, but not meanly,- on the podcast when they respond to the questions, they state the posting frequency (on a certain discussion list) of each questioner. They are personable, respectful, but also fun.

3. Rich Product
They have an episodic, slowly revealed show with little teasers everywhere. What book is on the main character’s shelf? It’s relevant, I kid you not. People speaking in Korean? Some fan will translate it and post it somewhere. “Easter eggs” in the software world, or just a many layered, relevant text in the novel world. Their “product” is just saturated and layered with meaning.

4. Multimedia
They’ve embraced almost all of the current technology for their show. Podcasts, interactive web sites, blogs, etc. Perhaps social networking is the only thing they haven’t branched out into. That embracing of the content their fans have created, and working with it- that shows the true spirit of Web 2.0, though, in my mind.

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Written on Thursday, 10. May 2007 at 12:15 In the category strategy. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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