×

Internet helps spread ‘Ghost’ story

Moses, Sander use social media as marketing tool

Bring up the topics of new media and creative ways to reach an audience, and the married executive producing-writing-directing team of Ian Sander and Kim Moses display the energy and passion of several people.

When describing the “Total Engagement Experience” for “Ghost Whisperer,” they explain how forward-thinking ways have led to a new model to attract viewers. Facing tremendous odds — research indicated that 82% of freshman series on Friday night do not make it to their sophomore season — and armed with a show centering on a supernatural mythology with a popular young star (Jennifer Love Hewitt), they came up with a game plan.

Just airing a show weekly on a network wasn’t enough, so they created online seances, webisodes, an e-store, tweets on Twitter, Facebook fan pages, Spirit Guide, comic-books and other ways to spread the word.

“Television is the most important component, but the audience is expecting to be entertained,” Sander says. “It drives eyeballs from one platform to the other, from the web to television and in reverse. We call it the infinity loop.”

One example of this success are the webisodes, which allow for a different type of storytelling. While the producers believe television is generally most effective telling close-ended tales, the online crowd thirsts for cliffhangers because they can catch up by viewing archived material at their convenience. The infinity loop created by the webisodes has been a financial winner for all involved. For example, General Motors initially sponsored the online content, and then bought ad time on the telecasts. GM also decided to offer up some cars for product placement.

“It was launched from the passion of the fans — what they wanted to see,” Moses says. “We found out from the fans they wanted to know what happened on the other side, stories from the ghosts’ points of view. It’s direct input from the audience immediately, which you couldn’t do a few years ago, which you need to pay attention to. You’d be foolish not to.”

Unlike many producers, Sander and Moses create all of the content for each platform inhouse.

“It all works because Ian and I are storytellers,” Moses says. “Every component — interactive, DVD extras, (e-store) Mel’s closet — is about storytelling, and storytelling goes all the way back to campfires.”

CBS entertainment topper Nina Tassler says that one reason Sander and Moses are so successful is because each component works within the context of the show.

“They have always been able to deconstruct the show and pull it apart to have specific pieces focus on segments of the audience and reach those members of the audience,” Tassler explains. “At the end of the day, the cross-appeal of the show works because it’s marketed to specific audiences. Everything is additive.”

More Scene

  • BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 21:

    Jenna Andrews Hosts Zhavia Ward, Lennon Stella at Jed Foundation Fundraiser

    Jenna Andrews, the Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and executive, hosted a pre-Grammy event in partnership with The Jed Foundation at Alice and Olivia in West Hollywood on Tuesday.  The non-profit Jed is dedicated to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide. The foundation has partnered with high schools and colleges in order to “strengthen mental health, [...]

  • Coldplay - Chris Martin

    Grammys 2020: The Ultimate Party Guide

    Let the music play, indeed. The Grammys are just days away and dozens of parties are happening every night this week leading up to the big day, Sunday, Jan. 26. And the partying continues with several bashes following the ceremony. (All events listed are by invitation only unless marked otherwise; this list is being updated [...]

  • Jared Harris arrives at the 26th

    No, Jared Harris is Not Playing Doctor Octopus in Marvel's 'Morbius'

    The first-ever trailer for Marvel and Sony’s next Spider-man spinoff “Morbius” left comic book fans reeling with theories. While the plight of the main character, Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) – a scientist dying of a rare blood disease who accidentally turns himself into a vampire – seemed ripped right out of the comics, the [...]

  • Charlize Theron31st Annual Producers Guild Awards,

    Charlize Theron Says Megyn Kelly's 'Bombshell' Reaction Video Was 'Really Validating'

    Charlize Theron says it was “really emotional” to watch Megyn Kelly’s half-hour response video to “Bombshell,” the Oscar-nominated feature film that depicts the sexual harassment Kelly (as played by Theron) and several other women experienced from Fox News founder Roger Ailes. The video, which Kelly posted to her YouTube Channel on Jan. 9, shows Kelly, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content