Nearly a year and a half after the widely acclaimed series finale of AMC’s beloved Breaking Bad, a new chapter is about to be written with spinoff prequel Better Call Saul. Expectations are high for the show, which reunites Bob Odenkirk’s fan-favorite sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman (nee Jimmy McGill) with Breaking Bad co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould.
Better Call Saul’s campaign has been a marriage of moderation and deliberate escalation, a luxury AMC can take advantage of thanks to the show’s pre-existing fanbase always hungry for information.
AMC first teased the show with an 11-second promo way back on Sept. 21, and has since released a litany of sneak peeks, trailers and behind-the-scenes looks at the show, all of which have arrived almost weekly since November.
As anticipation mounts, the promos have gotten longer and more in-depth, with extended trailers and detailed looks at the series hitting the Web in January. These promos have been the engine of AMC’s extensive social media presence, but many have also aired across national cable and satellite networks.
On Monday (Feb. 2), the latest of these, a “Meet the Characters” video featuring the cast and crew and introducing the Better Call Saul ensemble, arrived.
AMC’s Better Call Saul’s marketing campaign mirrors the ubiquity of a small-town lawyer, writ large. Much like a real-life DUI attorney, Saul Goodman can be seen on billboards in Los Angeles and New York, with 2-sheets in subways and on buses in New York. Park bench ads in Los Angeles are another tenet of the out-of-home component. Saul’s literal call to action similarly reaches print media, with advertisements in The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.
Saul’s pervasive presence is the most apparent online, thanks to search engine marketing, digital banners, with high-impact units and video units across targeted entertainment, media and pop culture sites, on both desktop and mobile platforms.
AMC’s companion websites are a treasure trove of Saul goodies, emphasizing interactivity. Impatient fans can sign up for updates on the Is Better Call Saul Here Yet? site. Saul Goodman’s law firm has its own website with various featurettes and a “not toll-free” number at (505) 503-4455 that offers callers an automated voice message from the man “who puts CRIMINAL in criminal lawyer.”
The show’s official website has a character gallery, photos, an “Ultimate Fan Game” that challenges visitors with Saul Goodman trivia, a forum, a blog, and the opportunity to join the Better Call Saul Insiders Club. By signing up, fans get sent the latest news and become eligible for swag.
Not surprisingly, Better Call Saul runs the gamut on social media to drive conversation around #BetterCallSaul. BCS already has more than 681,000 likes on Facebook, 54,000+ follow @BetterCallSaul on Twitter, and AMC is also active on Instagram, Tumblr and Google+.
Exclusive social media content includes character introduction graphics, quote cards and an Alias Generator app that lets fans create their own alias (I became Winston Garrison of New Hampshire, for example).
AMC has been able to take it slow releasing information about the show, leveraging viewers’ familiarity to build anticipation while simultaneously retaining mystery and intrigue. Expect even more of the-man-who-will-be-Saul in the coming week, leading up to AMC’s special two-night event premieres on Sunday Feb. 8 at 10 p.m., with the second episode airing Monday Feb. 9 at 10 p.m., in the show’s regular timeslot.