Fans Do the Darndest Things, ‘Smallville’ Edition

Far be it from me to argue with people about how they spend their free time and money, so I’ll let readers be the judge of the following.

Fans of “Smallville’s” Allison Mack, who plays Chloe Sullivan on the long-running CW show, have paid several thousand dollars to air two commercials in tribute to the actress and her character on May 14. According to one
Mack2 of the organizers, Margaret Bates, a graduate student in Alabama, that entailed purchasing time on KTLA — the CW station in Los Angeles — plus whatever it cost to shoot the spot. They’re also working on another buy for a spot on WPIX in New York that would air the following week.

I think my favorite part of the whole exercise, though, according to the group’s website, is the following explanation of how they decided on the rather novel TV spot approach: “We considered doing a mass postcard mailing, buying an ad in Variety
magazine, and renting a billboard in Los Angeles, but we rejected these
ideas as too derivative of previous fan activities.”

Personally, and I might be a little biased here, but if you have several thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket, to me nothing really shows how much you care like a big, fat expensive ad in Variety. But hey, sure, Tribune’s in bankruptcy, so I guess KTLA and WPIX can use the business too.

Mack has been just swell on the show (though I confess I’ve stopped watching it regularly), but it’s always fascinating to see who and what sparks such loyalty among viewers — as well as the web’s ability to bring those people together, bridging geographic boundaries.

We take such things for granted these days, but in its own way, it’s almost as amazing as a small-town girl from Kansas becoming pals with a boy from Krypton.

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  1. JE says:

    A Legendary woman? No, I am sorry I will bash the hell out of this no matter what they were promoting, be it Chloe or overall the show itself.
    If I ever have a daughter, and she ends up anything like Chloe Sullivan…I will have failed as a father. Chloe not only spent much of her life pining after a man who didn’t want her, but often times when she felt rejected by him she BETRAYED him or didn’t listen to his wishes in the guise of being his best friend. Deceit, no matter how big or small is still deceit. It’s a horrible trait.
    She has lied, manipulated, stolen (money and items), and developed a God-complex that cost people their lives. She cheated on her husband, WHOM WAS INJURED TRYING TO PROTECT HER, because she “fell” for a Kryptonian beast. Of course she claimed she did it for Clark, but why did she keep such a close watch over Davis, even cleaning up his “messes” (which I will remind you were HUMAN BEINGS). She sheltered him despite the fact he was a serial killer, knowing he was out striking against innocent victims.
    Her God-complex this last season not only almost lead to the utter destruction of the Earth, she almost cost her so called “best friend” his life in the process. She had a *beep* relationship with a man, and stole from him TWICE to pay for Watchtower. Her morality is gray, and her motivations were ALWAYS questionable.
    If this, this fictional character of DRASTIC flaws is the representation of what women “should be” then I shudder the thought of what type of women my generation will produce.

  2. Hazel says:

    Excellent article! I started watching Smallville when I was 11 years old because of my DCU addiction but Chloe Sullivan’s impact in my life as I grew up was an inspiration. She is a fierce woman who believes in what’s right and fights her way through life. She’s smart and passionate about what she loves (be it Supermen or the Daily Planet) so I’m beyond exited about this ad.

  3. SueB62 says:

    Well done Chloe fans!

  4. Dee says:

    I think it’s great that fans of a show who’ve never met each other can come together to show appreciation for an actress who’s entertained them for nigh on ten years. It just goes to show what an amazing character Allison Mack has helped bring to life in Chloe Sullivan on a TV franchise that is usually so focused on it’s mythos and history.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the ad, and I hope the CW and Smallville execs realise what a gem they have in Mack. If she is no longer with the show or the network in Season 10, then I wish her all the best with her future endeavours. With talent like hers, she’s sure to do well.

  5. Kay says:

    Awesome article. Through her outstanding performances, Allison Mack has allowed the CW and Smallville to add something unique to Superman mythology, so it seems appropriate that her fans chose to recongnize her in a unique way.
    I can’t wait to see the commercial!

  6. MonicaOP says:

    Thanks a lot for giving information about this project, the fans that did this worked a lot and is amazing to see their work being talked about :)
    If there is an actress and character that are Legendary is Allison’s Mack Chloe Sullivan, be well :)

  7. nzs says:

    As a longtime viewer and Allison Mack/Chloe fan I am thrilled with the Legendary Chloe project. Truly a special project for a special lady.
    Thank you for the article.

  8. Alex says:

    Thank you for the coverage of the fan project but I wished you had included that Allison Mack fans donated $3,000 to the Christopher & Dana Reeve foundation first before deciding to do a tribute project. That was included in the press release so people would know we gave to charity first before doing anything else and encourage other fans to make charitable contributions part of any appreciation project.
    This was such a cool gift people fell in love with it. People spend money on DVDs they do not end up watching, they give flowers that wilt in days, this seemed like a really cool and unique way to support entertainment enjoyed and honor an artist. I am glad enough fans got together to be able to do it.

  9. EllyF says:

    Thanks for the article! I agree with those above that Allison Mack totally deserves this kind of appreciation. She rocks!

  10. Thanks for the article. Crazy fans that we are we had to show our love and we wanted to do it in a way that was as unique as Allison Mack and Chloe Sullivan.
    If only we’d had enough money to donate to the Christopher Reeve foundation, do the TV commercial AND buy a big, fat expensive ad in Variety. Alas, not all dreams can come true.

  11. Unspokenbond says:

    As a longtime fan of Allison Mack, I’m grateful for your article. Allison Mack/Chloe Sullivan deserves this one of kind project from the fans. We’d like to appreciate her 9 years of hard work on this show and hopefully she’ll continue next Season for full 22 episodes.

  12. Sam says:

    The gallows humor is appreciated and next time we run a project, I’ll be voting for print journalism ;)

  13. BPOX says:

    To me the great thing about it being on TV is to show the fans themselves giving the character the visibility that they feel she merits.
    A lot of the comic book characters who appeared briefly on Smallville were featured in the previews the network did. On the other hand we saw comparatively little of Chloe, the character that I came to love over 8 years of the show.
    I appreciate the novelty too. I like that the fans went above and beyond to do something special for their favorite character.
    Anyhow, thanks for the article. I’m glad you felt it was interesting enough to share. I must admit that fans are, well, fanatic. I know that seems more than a little bit silly, but I’ve had such great fun in the Smallville and Chloe Sullivan fan-dom that I feel almost guilty about the entertainment bargain I’ve gotten.

  14. Brian Lowry says:

    To those who might not have fully recognized that my tongue was in my cheek, let me just clarify that I’m not really shilling for ads in Variety. Merely a bit of gallows humor from a print journalist. Thank you all for the feedback.

  15. Meg says:

    Thank you for the attention to the commercial! I love Chloe, so seeing projects like this develop has made the fandom more fun during a season where Chloe hasn’t been onscreen as much.
    I agree Variety is great to get the word out for fan projects (especially when you want to act fast), but given how fan groups have used it often in the past for thank-you campaigns, particularly Whedon fans, I think it’s cool that Chloe fans chose a different route. If you have the time and the means, why not do something unique?

  16. Toby says:

    I love this article. I think it’s amazing that Allison Mack can inspire such love and devotion from her fans. What a fabulous gift for an amazing actress.

  17. KatieD. says:

    So awesome! As someone who participated in this project, it was such a joy to meet & work with other fans from all over the world! Allison Mack totally brought to life an amazing character in Chloe Sullivan. She’s saved the World! (and Clark!) I’ve grown up watching Smallville the past 9 years & seeing someone who cares about truth, justice, working for goals has been a positive impact on my life. Amazing indeed! Thank you!!
    “We take such things for granted these days, but in its own way, it’s almost as amazing as a small-town girl from Kansas becoming pals with a boy from Krypton.”

  18. Mariko says:

    Thanks for covering the project. Yes it probably cost a lot, but Chloe has a pretty big online fanbase, so a lot of fans were involved and innovative ways to raise the funds were used. It’s pretty common for fans to get together to buy gifts or something promoting their favorite show– I know I contributed a few dollars in an attempt to Save Everwood and rent a Ferris Wheel, lol! Fans are a dedicated bunch and I think with the way Allison Mack got the shaft this year with one small scene every episode, it’s innovative and cool that her fans were able to do this for her.

  19. April Walsh says:

    LOL about giving Variety the biz.
    I just think this is so cool. It’s the first fan project of its kind and I love that Allison Mack/Chloe Sullivan is what inspired. Makes me feel like myself and other fans of hers are real go-getters.

  20. Sam says:

    The TV spot appeals because it’s something new and different and it hasn’t been done before. It’s an exciting first.
    Thanks for covering the project.

  21. Ellen M. says:

    I think it’s a cool idea! I mean, it’s not like we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a TV spot for a favorite TV show character and the actor who portrays her. Makes sense and it’s unique. A lot of $ was also donated by portions of this group to the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

  22. Vera says:

    Brian, thank you for the article! I LOVE that Allison Mack and Chloe inspired such a fandom first – it speaks to her popularity among Smallville fans worldwide and how much she means to them.
    Also, lol, Brian how about working out a deal for the project for Legendary print ads in Variety next season? That might go over well *G*

  23. Nancy aka Sue Denim says:

    I’ve participated in Variety adds for other fandoms, so I was happy to see take a different route with what is essentially a televised appreciation project. Thank you for covering it and yes, the same message could have been told in print–but why be ordinary when you can do something that almost matches how special Chloe Sullivan is.

  24. Chris Johnson says:

    I don’t mind your bias for ‘Variety’, and normally I’d agree, but you gotta admit that an actual televised fan-created ad is a true first.
    Others have advertised in Variety before, but NO ONE has ever done a commercial like this. Its a true first. This ad, like Allison Mack and her character Chloe, is truly in a league of its own.

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