In the final episode of last season, one character replies 'Nuts!' when the fictional town in Kansas is asked to surrender. So taking their lead from the show, fans sent nuts by the ton to CBS's offices in New York.
25 tons, to be exact.
Geno adds that fans also sent 30,000 emails, and donated $15,000 to the state of Kansas to aid in recent tornado damage. The massive fan-based revolt has earned a return of at least 7 episodes for Jericho, according to CBS. In addition, CBS has said that it will release the first season to DVD this summer, and will also rebroadcast the episodes.
Then CBS did something which is genius, they saw the power of Jericho's fans, and have decided to tap it:
"A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show," Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, said at CBS.com. "But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available. We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks."
In other words, they just 'gave' the show to its biggest evangelists. That's gold.
And what about all those nuts? Nedra points out that the network donated the nuts to to City Harvest, a hunger relief program and State Island Project Homefront, which sends care packages to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Great stuff. I think we are all patting the fans of Jericho on the backs for winning the battle for their show, but I think we need to also acknowledge that CBS comes out smelling like a rose. They listened to their fans, and then helped 'give' ownership of the show to its fans, then turned a nutty situation into a way to help others. Plenty of 'new marketing' lessons here for everyone.
Tags:The Viral Garden, Marketing, Jericho