Published on August 27th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds
Selling Motion Comics
While BBC America viewers can see a world exclusive Doctor Who Motion Comic - starring Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) designed to bridge the ad break and tonight’s episode Let’s Kill Hitler - there’s a price to pay for it.
According to AdAge.com The 60 second clip, sponsored by telecommunications giant AT&T, will feature a chase sequence deemed too expensive to shoot in live action and is directed by Hitler’s director Richard Senior.
What’s been branded as ‘the ultimate DVR buster’ by Mark Gall, BBC America’s exec VP-media sales, the vignette is just one of a number of ‘Hybrid Commercials’ currently being used by Ad Executives to integrate their products with your favourite shows.
Fans of Desperate Housewives were treated to Spirit embarrassingly shoe-horning in their cell phones into specifically shot mini-episodes of the show featuring cast members and made by the Desperate staff.
For Let’s Kill Hitler AT&T wanted to incorporate its slogan ‘rethink possible’ into the premiere episode. So the corporation along with its media agency, the BBC America ad sales team and Steven Moffat & Richard Senior created the ‘Motion Comic Sequence’ along with Double Barrel Motion Labs (Torchwood: Web of Lies) to work on those costly live action scenes in an affordable way.
Mark Gall comments:
“It hits all those key things AT&T needs. You’ll even hear the Doctor say things like ‘Anything is possible’ on the series because it’s part of his character, part of how people talk about him during the episodes.”
Which is rather depressing.
However the telecommunications company’s contribution won’t be noted in perpetuity. For any future digital media release the company’s logo will be removed from the vignette.
The whole thing is reminiscent of a one liner from Karen Gillan’s appearance on The Late Late Show where host Craig Ferguson joked about being done with stuff like Doctor Who once other people liked it.
Is this just a necessary evil for a show seeking wider audiences in the States and therefore should be seen as the future and not a threat to our paternal love for the show or are BBC America damaging the show’s cult appeal by making it so brand friendly?