April 11, 2007
Is it me, or is '24' just getting wildly wacky? Not that i don't still enjoy it thoroughly every week, but where is the LA traffic in the midst of that nuclear explosion? And doesn't Jack Bauer ever go to the bathroom?
They did do something this week that i really liked, but also was a missed opportunity to build viewer loyalty or even a blatant marketing opportunity. Usually in television shows, when actors give a phone number, it uses the local exchange of "555" because there is no such exchange in any area code. This week, some sinister asian guy tells Jack to call "310.597.3781" - 310 is the exchange for the west side of LA. Naturally, I had to call the number to see who answered. I got a message in spanish with a second voice insert in the middle of the message (much like the 'insert your name' in a voicemail message) - the center said "cell phone for 24". I have no idea what the spanish part before and after it said. Its common for television shows to create secondary layers of information on the web and other places to build fan loyalty. I don't watch "Lost", but I know that the plane that crashed was a fictional Oceanic Airlines, and if you call up oceanic-air.com, you'll find their website. At the worst, the 24 number could have had a promo for next weeks episode. Or much better, it could have been a message in Chinese that, when translated, told you something "secret" about the plotline or coming episode, or sent you on some similar goosehunt, or even just a sponsor message. Interesting that television has evolved to a point where I expect something like that from it. Even more interesting that "24" missed such an opportunity.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:11 PM