Promo No-No: The NBC, USA ‘Camp’ Confusion

Similar sounding summer series spell a marketing misfire

As if the TV landscape wasn’t already vast and intricate enough, networks have found a new way to confuse viewers: launch shows with essentially the same name, and the same theme, during the same week.

Start a conversation with a consumer — or someone in the TV biz (I am speaking from experience) — about a show called “Summer Camp” and the response you may receive is, “Oh, that new show on NBC?”

No, no, bewildered viewer, “Summer Camp” is a new show on USA, and a new reality series, at that. But yes, you’re right, NBC is bowing a dramedy titled “Camp” this summer. Both shows center on adults getting into shenanigans at summer camp.

And, to make things extra convenient, “Camp” and “Summer Camp” are debuting within 24 hours of one another, on July 10 and July 11, respectively.

But wait, there’s more!

Let us admire the very distinct promo art for each show, featured on each program’s official pages:

BONUS ROUND: the two series will air on networks that reside under the same parent company umbrella, NBCUniversal. More points!

All scoring aside, marketing miscues like these make a viewer wonder if networks are at all in communication with one another when it comes to their launches.

Luckily, the Peacock rescued another show from borderline homonym hell, as it renamed forthcoming comedy “The Family Guide” as “Growing Up Fisher.” I am thankful for this, since it spares us all not only from over-enunciating the “d” sound in “Guide,” but also from questions like, “Wait, so the dad in ‘Family Guy’ is actually blind?”

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