TV Revivials: Back With The Old And Merge With The New

Reviving TV series has become somewhat of a Netflix speciality (‘Arrested Development’, ‘Fuller House’, and most recently ‘Gilmore Girls’), however more and more TV networks are working to revive their own past wonders with Fox’s ‘Prison Break’ in April and ABC’s ‘Twin Peaks’ this month (available in Ireland on Sky Atlantic). Last week, as the US TV finalised their programming for the 2017-2018 season, NBC announced a 10-episode limited instalment of ‘Will & Grace’. This phenomenon is not just restricted to our American counterparts; in the UK, Comic Relief reunited the cast of ‘Love Actually’ for just 10 minutes of screen-time this year, to the delight of fans and ultimately raising the most money on the night since it began in 1985.

The explosion of Pokémon Go last year proved that nostalgia marketing goes beyond television, tapping into memories is invaluable in engaging with millennials and connecting with them on an emotional level – the Holy Grail in our industry. However, it is the TV medium that not only transports us back mentally to when we watched the initial series, but also physically as it creates a family environment for us all to reminisce in. These are shows we grew up with, with characters identified as friends who were regularly in our living rooms with us. Rituals were formed around programmes; Sunday evenings were when all homework and chores was done to stay up past 8:30pm to watch Glenroe. These TV revivals are more than just content; it is a time machine that brings each viewer back to a personal moment in our lives. It allows us to feel a part of something once again and look fondly back on the past, and is particularly effective in today’s uncertain economic climate.

For brands, strategic spot buys and sponsorships around this kind of programming are often the only approach taken in Ireland, as most our old favourites were US or UK produced. However, when possible, product placement is particularly effective, with Gilmore Girls a prime example. In the 2016 revival, BagelBites and Clif Bars fit effortlessly into storylines that revolve around the mother-daughter duo’s eating habits.

Credit: Netflix

Here’s hoping the Irish market will soon see the return of Glenroe and Bosco, giving the public opportunities to connect once more with cult classics, and local brands the opportunity to engage with their audience on a deeper level.