Suggestions enter the mainstream Press today that the online availability of the New Series opener Rose was possibly pre-planned by the BBC. Dominic Timms reports in MediaGuardian that the individual responsible for leaking the episode (from a Canadian organization, not the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has had his or her contract terminated.
Meanwhile, the story also refers to Wired.com‘s story dated 16th March 2005, where they report that an organization called Broadcast Assassins were brought in by the BBC to advise on “viral advertising”.
Viral advertising is the concept of leaking important information – or a rough cut of the eventual release – of a media product via the rapid proliferation provided by the Internet. Asa Bailey of Broadcast Assassins said in Wired.com:
“I told them they should release things before their time, like what they’ve done with Doctor Who…Give out the first episode online, because it’s going to be valuable. You’ve got that cool factor, and it’s the whole, ‘I’ve seen it before you have’ kind of thing.”
Bailey said the leak “is great, and it’s the first time we’ve ever seen them do it, and so we’re really impressed with them.”
“It’s a classic,” Bailey said. “The best viral advert they could have done for that program would be to release the first (episode). You couldn’t have come up with a better viral advert than that.”
The BBC have denied that Rose was leaked intentionally.
Whether the BBC released the episode intentionally or not, we feel at Kasterborous that the leak has created a fantastic Buzz for the new series. Whether or not this buzz would have existed anyway is immaterial – it’s the range of the Buzz that is important…