The CW Launches 'Blood Rush,' A Surprise 'Arrow' Spin-off Presented By Bose

The CW last night premiered an exciting new series that was not included in the network's upfront announcement last May or in its many panels at the San Diego Comic-Con in July or during its day at the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour.

The new series is a mini spin-off of “Arrow” titled “Blood Rush,” and it consists of an undisclosed number of episodes with a running time of approximately one minute each. The series is sponsored by Bose -- specifically Bose QC 20 headphones and SoundLink Mini speakers. New episodes are set to premiere each week during “Arrow.”

“Arrow” was not chosen simply as a place for “Blood Rush” to “live,” as they say in Hollywood. “Blood Rush” is structured like a little spin-off of the CW hit and features characters from the series.



In the first episode, Emily Bett Rickards’ tech whiz Felicity Smoak and Colton Haynes’ street-savvy ex-con Roy Harper met at Felicity's desk when Roy stopped in looking for a few minutes with businessman Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Arrow. Played by actors who are arguably two of the prettiest people on television, there was immediate sexual tension between Felicity and Roy, even though Roy is dating Oliver's younger sister. (I'm not sure if the earbuds Felicity was wearing when the episode began were a Bose product.)

Once Felicity directed Roy to wait for Oliver in the lobby, she took a call from another “Arrow” character, Detective Quentin Lance, played by Paul Blackthorne.

“Miss Smoak, we have a problem,” Lance said in his most serious voice as the episode ended. An announcer revealed that episode two would premiere next week during “Arrow” and at

There’s no telling what direction the tantalizingly titled “Blood Rush” will go in as it plays out, nor if any other characters from “Arrow” (including the awesome archer himself) are going to appear in future episodes. But it made for a fun addition to an otherwise ordinary and easily scanned-over pod. Wisely, “Blood Rush” was the first component of its commercial break; in fact, while watching (in real-time) I didn’t even realize that I was seeing something extra provided by a sponsor rather than just another scene in the show. I must have glanced away for a few seconds and missed the informative title card, which read: “Bose Presents Blood Rush -- Episode One.”

I can’t help but wonder if the writers of “Blood Rush” are going to play with the idea of a possible romance between Felicity and Roy. That might not be of much interest to “Arrow’s” male audience, which would likely prefer that “Blood Rush” be an action or mystery story of some kind. Also, I’m not sure if Bose as a brand appeals more to males or females, and I don’t know whether it is trying to reach people who are already predisposed to purchase more Bose products or to attract new customers.

But I do know that a good serialized love story told within the context of a series of commercials can do wonders for a brand. I’m thinking of the pop-culture sensation that resulted from those legendary Taster’s Choice Coffee commercials in the Nineties. They starred Sharon Maughan and a then-unknown Anthony Head (who would later be cast in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) as two people who got to know each other over their shared love of coffee. Millions of viewers waited with breathless anticipation for each new chapter in their story, hoping that the two characters would fall in love and consummate their relationship.

Meanwhile, sales of Taster’s Choice products increased by approximately ten percent when the commercials were telecast! And a paperback novel titled “Love Over Gold” that was based on the ads and focused on the couple was published shortly after the campaign ended. That’s how popular those Taster’s Choice spots were, in both the United States and England. 

With DVR usage surging and commercials more vulnerable than ever, it behooves the advertising industry to stop thinking in traditional terms and continuously develop television campaigns that are actually of interest to viewers of particular programs. (There have been many terrific spots in recent episodes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” purposefully designed to appeal to fans of a good zombie apocalypse.) And it doesn’t hurt, as in the case of “Blood Rush,” if there is a contest attached (in this case, fans can win a trip to the “Arrow” set in Vancouver).


3 comments about "The CW Launches 'Blood Rush,' A Surprise 'Arrow' Spin-off Presented By Bose".
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  1. Michael Massey from Clickit Digital, November 11, 2013 at 6:53 a.m.

    Leave it to the CW network to think of creative ways to build a brand. The viewer attention span is so limited, this a perfect way to build some buzz.

  2. Erik Sass from none, November 11, 2013 at 11:52 a.m.

    I agree that it worked really well. I have a (possibly dumb) question: is the audience for The Arrow supposed to be mostly male or female? I figure at least 50-50, in light of the soap opera-like elements, Colton Haynes etc.

  3. Rena Moretti from RM, November 11, 2013 at 10:10 p.m.

    Leave it to the CW to uncreatively spin-off one of its flops into an ad.

    Why Bose thinks it'll reach any sizeable audience is bewildering...

    As for the audience for Arrow, it is just absent. Doesn't mater what it's made of.

    Whatever Bose paid to be associated with this disaster was too much.

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