The finale of ABC’s six-year-long castaway saga, LOST was expected to bring in a record audience share. The ads were pre-sold at $900,000 per 30-seconds. When so much money is riding on getting a TiVo ad-skipping audience to stop and take a look at what you have to sell, how do you glue those eyeballs to the screen? Target Brands, Inc. seems to have hit the, um, target by catering directly to LOST’s hardcore fanbase with a handful of custom ads. These advertisements, directed by regular LOST director Jack Bender, incorporate themes familiar to LOST fans such as the smoke monster, the Swan station computer, and hunting the local island fauna.
These ads are prime examples of how to effectively market to a very niche audience. Advertisers who want to stop ad-skipping viewers dead in their tracks can take a lesson from Target.
Kentucky Fried Chicken also rode LOST’s coattails early on. This ad aired nationally during the height of LOST’s first season.
And here’s Bud Light’s take on the LOST meme:
UPDATE: According to ratings researcher Nielsen, “nearly 90% of the national advertisements aired during the telecast achieved higher brand recall in the finale, compared to their average in other primetime programming”, and in particular, the Target ads “captured the strongest Net Likeability of any ad in the show – nearly quadrupling the average of all other spots in the telecast.”