What's In A Name? Still A Big Piece Of A Show's Marketing Plan

"Terriers"? I had no idea it was a buddy detective series on FX. I thought it was about -- well, gnarling dogs.

Indeed, I believed I saw print ads showing a gnarling dog. I didn't dig deeper. I never got a chance to see any TV promos of the show, which I'm sure would have showed off wise-cracking, not-always-by-the-book, ex-police force, hot-headed law-enforcement types. FX-style, of course.

According to FX, what I saw wasn't actually wasn't a print ad -- but a series of billboards located in Los Angeles (also in New York).

Even then, John Landgraf, president of FX, said the promos weren't the problem. Because he says the promos tested well. So don't go blaming the marketing department.

Still, the title of the show "Terriers" doesn't refer to anything -- other than perhaps a tangential association between the show's star, Donal Logue. and the dog breed. Both love their beards?!

But the campaign's initial marketing/communication message didn't push me aggressively to see other information about the show -- the next phase of the marketing campaign.

ABC's "Cougar Town" executive producers say its name is also misleading and they wish that it had some other moniker. The show is not about a lot of older women on the make. It's more about an unusual extended family structure.

The difference here? "Terriers" is now canceled, while "Cougar Town" lives on with good, but not great, ratings.

Landgraf believed if marketing was truly the problem, he would have actually picked up the show for the second season -- albeit to change the marketing slant in year two, I'm guessing.

Still, what about the name? Seems that didn't totally work. (Ah hah!) If it had gone to a second season Landgraf would have changed the name to "Terriers: PI."

Guessing ABC should change that other show name to "Cougar Town: Funky Family Edition."

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3 comments about "What's In A Name? Still A Big Piece Of A Show's Marketing Plan".
  1. Daniel Jasper , December 9, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

    Totally agree ... I've always posited that if "Arrested Development" were titled "The Bluth's", then they would have been on the air for many more years.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , December 9, 2010 at 1:31 p.m.

    A rose by another other name is still a rose. But another name is not a rose. Terriers has to be watched through the second show to find out it was about the PI's. By the 3rd and 4th episode, it found its spark with the personality of the star finally showing. Too bad, too late. It was also hard to find. FX or any other channel/station/network will have to invest as much as a TNT or USA in their own series for consumer habits to form. Wash and repeat.

  3. John Maher , December 9, 2010 at 3:24 p.m.

    Wayne, you have ruined my day. "Terriers" was a great show. I am bummed it was canceled. The actors developed great characters and the scripts were well written. Too bad...