This is a guest post by Travis Foster, one of our interns. Enjoy!
If you haven’t heard of Breaking Bad…you’re late. Not only have you missed four of the best seasons of television ever; you’re about to miss the fifth. Airing Sunday, July 15th is the premier of Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season. Millions of fans are dismissing their “It’s Friday!!” feeling due to their eager anticipation for this Sunday’s premiere.
I have to make one thing clear – I am not a TV guy. I don’t even have a television service provider! I am an internet junkie. I happened to stumble upon a clip of the show that one of my friends had posted on Facebook. I became curious and borrowed the Breaking Bad Season One set from him – I was hooked. I watched the first three seasons in less time than I’d like to admit.
I’ve been known to completely dismiss movies and other media simply because they were too violent; not Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad IS violent, quite disturbing, and features plenty of profanity. Somehow, however, the brilliant chemist turned drug lord Walter White snagged my attention and won’t let go.
The particular scene that got me hooked on Breaking Bad was on an episode called “Half Measures,” which is episode 12 of season three. It isn’t an exciting scene. It isn’t loud, nor is it quiet. It’s not even a twist in the story. It’s a four and a half minute scene of the private investigator, Mike, talking to Walter about the importance of not taking any more…half measures. That scene was deep and just interesting enough to pull me into the series.
Leveraging Social Media for Fan Engagement
Naturally, as a social media fanatic, I found the Breaking Bad Facebook and Twitterpages. Being completely ignorant to the entire TV realm, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find. I had the uneducated impression that all TV shows relied on paid commercial advertising to pay the bills and relied on people to tune in week after week. After all, their compelling content is there, what else do they need?
I was pleasantly surprised when I found that Breaking Bad had built an admirable community on social media. On their Facebook page they have Spotify playlists, trivia questions, and videos that keep bringing thousands of fans coming back each day for more. The most fan interaction, however, comes from the pictures they post. With some pictures getting as many as 144,844 likes, 38,684 shares, and 10,214 comments!
Breaking Bad’s Twitter is slightly less successful, which isn’t a surprise. Media is harder to share on Twitter and is mostly built to establish and maintain relationships. They will sometimes retweet a fan with a creative way to promote the show, but other than that, there isn’t much interaction between users.
Social Media Activism
One thing is made perfectly clear on the social media sites of Breaking Bad. Their “Ditch DISH!” campaign deeply extends into every place in the internet they occupy. They have pages on their website dedicated to converting DISH Satellite users to a different service provider. AMC’s Breaking Bad is even going to stream the Breaking Bad Season Five Premier this Sunday on their website for free in an attempt to strip customers from DISH. This is because DISH Network has dropped the entire AMC channel. Why DISH dropped the network isn’t perfectly clear. A dispute of some sort is apparent, but both parties have been quiet about the details.
Never has a TV show or movie been able to take my emotions and tie them in a knot quite like Breaking Bad can. If you aren’t convinced that Breaking Bad is fantastic entertainment, you haven’t watched it. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. 2.9 million Facebook fans can’t be wrong.
I’ll be watching this Sunday, will you?