WWE: Self Promotion
by, 07-15-2011 at 01:34 PM (2215 Views)
There have been countless blogs, forum posts, comment threads etc. etc. that go on about how the WWE is doing [Superstar X's push/lack there of, Zack Ryder, PPVs, PG, CM Punk, I want the Attitude Era 2.0, Tag Teams, Divas, etc. etc. etc.]. However, as always I like to point out something a little bit different that a lot of people seem to have glossed over.
In 2011, WWE is too self-promoting.
What do I mean you ask? Let's start with a recap. In any given Raw/SD, we see the following self-promotions:
WWE Wide Intro
Recap of Last Week or Recent Main Event Storyline
During Initial Promo -- Call-Back to Last Week
[Bulk of the show in no order]
Commercial for WWE Movie
Slam of the Week -- Call Back to previous Raw/SD
PR Stunt of the Quarter (Bullying for example)
Recent PR Stunt Rewind (International tour, reading tour etc.)
Multiple PPV Promotions (ex. Evan Bourne vs Swagger might bring up a MITB match graphic)
WWE Video Game Ad
Product Ad (slim jim, 7-11 etc.)
"Did you know???" (sometimes multiple times)
PPV is brought to you by [XYZ]
Middle of the Show Call back to intro of show or last week
iTune ad for Superstar/Diva Music
[End of show]
Complete PPV run-down
Call-Back to last Week
Tune in Next Week Plug
I'm not saying self-promoting is bad. After all, you do want to remind people about certain things that a person may have missed or about a product you are offering. The fact is, its getting too much and its distracting. During NXT and to a lesser extent Superstars it takes up even larger % of airtime for a show that has only 42-45 minutes of airtime. Raw has about 1:40/2:10 airtime, and SD gets about 1:30/2:00. When up to 15 minutes in a given broadcast is ads, self promotion, and wasted call-backs in addition to your ads, it becomes painfully clear....
WWE is the Home Shopping Network with some wrestling, smacktalk and cleavage thrown in. (not enough time on the cleavage though, but that's another story)
What's just right? WWE has always had it's show intros and a few call backs, and I can't blame the WWE for advertising their movies and video games. The truth is though, do we need to see the same re-hashed PPV plug, multiple times in a show? Do we need to see the SAME call back multiple times in a show, do we really need "oh hey watch Smackdown, LOL!"
Now why am I bringing this up exactly? Well besides using the added few minutes for longer matches (or an additional match) or another promo or two, there's a secondary (and perhaps even more important reason)
It's hurting morale of the viewer.
When you see something on TV, you generally want the viewer to have a positive reaction, or at the worst be neutral. When you spend valuable minutes on ads and call backs, you generally hope for a neutral-slightly positive reaction, because after all, you can't expect it to have the same reaction as a match or promo. The problem is with the sheer amount of them, it's creating a subconscious negative reaction.
We know it smells "pipelined" even though we may not be actively acknowledging it. The Attitude Era and even the previous two eras before it (Hulkamania and Post-Steroid Scandal) had a good deal of product placement, but they always changed it up.
What's a good start? Bring back the superstars talking to you directly during their intro ala the little square in the corner, if you don't know what I'm talking about check out the WWE Old School episode when I believe it was Dolph talking directly to the audience. It was simple, it worked and it gives people with weaker mic skills to get multiple takes to disguise it. Also saves time on call backs.