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Channel 4 Kick off 9th Season of Peep Show with Social Media Barrage

The Guardian
I'm sure I'm not alone in excitedly welcoming the triumphantly misanthropic return of Peep Show. The previous season finished airing at the end of 2012, leaving people uncertain if the show would ever return. The first episode of the new series aired last Wednesday, I can only speak for myself but I found it to be a comforting return to form, complete with an ending which represents perhaps one of the darkest moments in the entire history of the show (dogs and canal boats notwithstanding).

One of the big points of interest in the run up to the show's return was a comprehensive, fascinating stretch of cross-network social media promotion. The kind of thing that Jez would pretend to understand and Mark would just get angry about for no good reason. It largely emanated from Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn was also involved, as a screenshot of an article on the platform was posted, written by Mark's on-and-off boss and would-be mentor Alan Johnson.

Alan Johnson has just published an article on LinkedIn… New Peep Show next week.
Posted by Peep Show on Wednesday, 4 November 2015

On Twitter, users were encouraged to post thoughtful show references under the #PeepShowWisdom banner, buoyed by similar posts by characters from the actual show, like Super Hans (his were most about drugs) and Dobby. A Q&A was also hosted on Twitter by co-creator Jesse Armstrong in the run up to the series premier. A lot more image and video content is still being published on a rolling basis, like infographics and best moments and will continue to appear for the whole run of this new, possibly final series.

That might all sound fairly unremarkable, but it's indicative of the way social media promotion can create a kind of widespread water-cooler buzz which keeps the show consistently active in people's minds. Other shows might just post the odd screencap of an episode or a countdown until the next one airs, but Channel 4 have committed to keeping the content varied enough that people will want to make an active effort to follow their feeds.

This is all thanks to That Lot, a company specifically designed to help brands put themselves out there on social media. It's far from unique, but their work on Peep Show demonstrates how such help is almost universally applicable. That Lot have previously worked on two other shows (The Apprentice and The Voice) but they predominantly partner with companies like Mastercard, Ford, Tango, Phillips, Virgin Media and HTC.

This kind of expertise doesn't necessarily need to be outsourced, but treating the promotion of a TV show like that of a brand can have the added effect of creating a kind of expanded universe fed by fan interaction. Films do it all the time, but social media isn't necessarily always the primary conduit, campaigns like this demonstrate that in most cases, it probably should be.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Channel 4 Kick off 9th Season of Peep Show with Social Media Barrage Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, November 16, 2015 Rating: 5

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