Saturday night was SMASHING!

…That usually means I enjoyed a delicious Smash Burger for dinner.  But in this case, it was something more compelling.

NBC has partnered with iTunes to air the pilot of their new series “Smash” set to premier on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 9pm Central time.

The show is produced by Steven Spielberg and stars Debra Messing, Christian Borle, Katharine McPhee, Jack Davenport, Mega Hilty, Angelican Huston, Jaime Cepero, Raza Jeffrey, and Brian d’Arcy James.

This basic premise is an often used plot of a show within a show.   A new Broadway show is in development about the life of Marilyn Monroe.  The pilot episode opens with try-outs and call-backs for the role of Marilyn.

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Megan Hill is the apparent favorite to be cast in the role of Marilyn until the young girl from Iowa (McPhee) stuns the producers with “Beautiful.”.  The show is stunning. The writing is thankfully intelligent.  The stars are really stars.  The music makes me want more of it.  My iTunes download occurred in the second act!

More stunning than the music, is NBC’s marketing of their new show shamelessly targeted at Gleeks.  Music is hot again in prime time and Smash should cash-in with ratings and advertiser support.

The marketing lesson here is NBC’s early release of the Pilot show through internet, AppleTV and iTunes and probably other avenues I may have yet to discover.  This is clearly a viral marketing launch with a goal to create buzz for the February 6 opening night.

I found the show on iTunes by accident.   I didn’t read about it and was not referred to the site.  I was so excited to see the show earlier than advertised that I gave very little thought to the marketing effort.

It’s a great lesson for all brand managers.  Build momentum.  Create a buzz.  Start a virus.

Make it a SMASH!

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