Last week we talked about the new Jerry Seinfeld web show, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." What was interesting about the teaser that was put out was that no one could quite figure out what the show was going to be, but it drummed up considerable buzz. The teaser trailer is over 300,000 views, and the new trailer that hit yesterday is at nearly 100,000. Marketing this series is kind of easy, right? You just get Jerry Seinfeld and his buddies into a show, talking about a wide range of topics, and you have an instant hit, right? Well, I think what they're doing is a little bit better than that. It's all about intrigue.
Jerry Seinfeld Web Series Is Letting You Know Just Enough, Creating Buzz
It started with this strange teaser, which didn't tell you anything other than what the title was already claiming:
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The new one lets you in on what the show is going to be about, but it's still got a lot of, "I wonder how the conversation got to this point?" kind of intrigue:
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I especially like the out-of-context remark Seinfeld makes to Ricky Gervais, "You know what the best part of that joke is? 'Say what you will about Hitler.'"
What this web series looks like it's going to be is a fascinating conversation about showbiz, a sort of window into the stories we don't ever get to hear, and general hilarious conversation. But what I like about this series is just the way they're teasing it. They're not giving away everything and they know exactly what to show in order to get you interested. I see little throwaway cuts into the trailers like Michael Richards ducking out of one of Seinfeld's cars or sitting on the floor in the middle of a coffee shop and I'm sold. Just the conversation with Larry David alone makes me want to see this.
What the teasing does is sort of promises a lot of better things to come. Celebrities talking, not on guard, comfortable with other celebrities, means we should see some entertaining stuff. Crackle, the Sony-owned comedy video site, could have easily just dropped this on July 19 and said, "Here's Jerry Seinfeld talking to Ricky Gervais" and said, "Now it's up to you to watch it." And I think they might have had some success, but now they're getting media outlets (like us) talking about it before even one episode comes out, and the way they've gone about releasing trailers has ramped up the intrigue.
This year we're seeing web series approaching a new level of excitement that we haven't seen before. We saw production values get better in the last year, and more and more big names keep showing up, but now there's palpable buzz surrounding these series. Halo 4, Electric City, and this Seinfeld series are all getting talked up like new fall TV shows, and that's a great thing. And well, I'm also excited about The Booth at the End's second season in August. Could this be the year of the web series? Or at least the point where we see them inspire an avalanche of content in the years to come? I think the answer might be yes.