How do you get young eyeballs to watch your new TV series? By going to where those young eyeballs happen to be.
Next month, Selfie arrives on ABC, with the network hoping that the recycling of My Fair Lady strikes a cord with a social networking-savvy generation. ABC has already offered a sneak peek at the 26-minute pilot on Hulu and its own website. But lots of new series do that these days, using online streaming to help build buzz.
So ABC is taking a different tack to promote the series featuring Doctor Who star Karen Gillian as a modern-day Eliza Doolittle: It's made the first episode of the show available on Twitter, embedding the pilot in a tweet.
And that #SelfieABC hashtag lets Twitter users share the debut episode among themselves, which ABC is hoping will translate into a built-in audience by the time the show arrives on conventional television on Sept. 30.
It's a clever move, especially given Selfie's premise centers around the heroine getting a social media makeover. And it makes sense for ABC to seek out a younger demographic via Twitter. "It's really exciting to see ABC innovating around how to get the most out of Twitter to build buzz for a new show this fall season," gushed Jennifer Prince, Twitter's director of entertainment industry sales, in an interview with Mashable.
At the end of the day, though, Selfie is just another old-fashioned broadcast TV series among many that will hit the Big Four TV networks this fall. Previewing and sharing it on Twitter is an interesting new marketing tactic, but not necessarily a new venue for you to watch new programs.