“Dallas” Network: TNT
Date: August 8, 2012
Key to Success: Use modern means to bring back a classic
This summer, TNT saw an open niche in nighttime soaps and took advantage of it with the soapiest family of them all: the Ewings. Facing the challenge of bringing back devoted fans from the original series along with luring new viewers, 2012’s “Dallas” used marketing tools the original Southfork clan never had. Since the original series wrapped in 1991, fans had the chance to catch up with the Ewings by following the last 20 years of the scheming family’s doings on a Facebook Timeline told through J.R.’s voice. They could also choose loyalties with a weekly Rise to Power online game to win real prizes and read 140-word original series plot summaries on Twitter called Dallas Quickies (which are now also available as a book).
“We found really fun, contemporary, modern, very relevant ways to pay homage to the original series, but to do it in a way that was very relevant to a new audience,” said Tricia Melton, SVP of marketing at TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies. “And Dallas Quickies was a challenge – if you know ‘Dallas,’ you know there’s a hell of a lot that goes on in one episode.”
Implementing a strategy of “social by design,” TNT was able to celebrate the pop culture icon of “Dallas” in a new and relevant way to drive social conversation and, in turn, ratings. Along with the Twitter and Facebook partnerships, which continued all season, TNT paid homage to the iconic show by going old school with a heavy print and outdoor campaign leading up to the premiere, including a billboard in Times Square featuring the entire (yes, entire) cast recreating its infamous shower scene.