Summer is the time for networks to drive big awareness for the fall season -- especially for new shows. But sometimes with a change in characters, more marketing is needed.
High on the list here is the obvious: CBS' "Two and a Half Men."
What better to get our attention than an outdoor and print campaign showing -- what else -- three men, including new cast member Ashton Kutcher? Oh, by they way, they are naked behind a sign touting the start date of the new season.
What's behind the sign? (A double entendre, I'm sure). Hmmm... perhaps it's what is behind the new direction of the show... or about the demise of Sheen's character. On that last point, we're betting some nasty, unique death with hookers, drinking, gambling, perhaps some fast cars thrown in.
Key aficionados are no doubt tweeting a lot -- wondering what this all means. That's the hope of CBS. (We also wonder how Patrick Jane is going to get out of his mess for seemingly killing off Red John on another CBS show, "The Mentalist.")
CBS' message on the "Men" ad: "All will be revealed... 09.19.11". It is a nice teaser. But maybe not all that original. A slightly embarrassed Kutcher is in the middle of Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones, with Cryer looking down -- presumably at Kutcher's private parts.
Kutcher is a key draw for women -- and young women -- a key demographic component of primetime network television. Naked and/or embarrassed looking young men go a long way in drawing attention.
I prefer an earlier photo -- not of a marketing kind. In May, just after the announcement of Kutcher's addition to "Men," a photo captured the three actors seemingly screaming at each other.
An argument? So they said -- with tongues firmly in cheeks. More controversy? We can only hope. In a more disparate entertainment media environment, the better question is whether "Men" can morph into a different show and find a new gear.