Friday, April 25, 2008

OMFG -- Sexy "Gossip Girl" Promos

You may have seen one of the recent network promos for CW's "Gossip Girl." We did; me and my three-year-old son. The promos were hyping interest in "Gossip Girl" newest show since the writer's strike. It premiered Monday, April 21.

The promo aired about 3 pm on Oxygen network. It definitely caught our attention. As Brian Sternberg of Advertising Age noted, the promo "feature[s] Serena, Nate and other characters from the program locked in passionate embraces, with the text message "OMFG" superimposed on top." Couple those passionate embraces with nudity and a high degree of sexual tension to complete the picture.

Network Promos
Sternberg notes that CW is using sex to attract interest in the show. This is most certainly the case. Network promos are intended to hype awareness of programming and increase viewership. In a sense, sex in the promos is an implicit promise of "see more of this" if one tunes in.

CW and Sex
In a recent analysis, we found that CW contains more ads with sexual content (25% of all ads aired during prime time) compared to FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC. More important, we also found that 38% of CW promos contained sexual content, which was much higher than all other networks. The next highest was NBC with 22% of promos containing sexual content.

Clearly CW, and its advertisers, use sex to appeal to the network's young audience. Sternberg noted that the audience for "Gossip Girl" was 18-34, but I would suspect that it skews much younger.

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