Can you have product-placement for a product that doesn’t exist? ABC thinks so.
In an eerie synergy, scribes for ABC’s “Lost” will soon be writing a subplot about a character named Gary Troup who didn’t survive the crash but left behind a manuscript he was working on.
Troup is fictional, of course, and so is his supposed novel. But ABC sister company Hyperion Books will publish the “found” manuscript, in the hope of turning a fictional product-placement into a real one.
Working with writers from the skein, Hyperion has commissioned a novel by a “well-known” mystery writer — it’s not saying who — that supposedly constitutes the book.
Move may be the first to use made-up TV events and characters as the basis for a real-life campaign. Book will be marketed as the work of an author who “delivered (his book) to Hyperion just days before Troup boarded Oceanic Flight 815.”
Hyperion did engage in a similar but scaled-down project for tie-in to TV mini “Rose Red.”
The “Lost” novel, titled “Bad Twin,” is a P.I. procedural involving a wealthy heir’s search for his nefarious brother. It will be released this spring in conjunction with skein’s related episodes.
If the backstory offers enough complexity to require an Advil (or whatever one takes for a postmodern headache), Hyperion prexy Bob Miller says he still thinks gambit could pique viewers. “Fans of the show are obsessive. We think a lot of them will be buying the book just to look for clues.”