Empty Promises in the Lost Previews

Finally people are starting to agree with me – the Lost promos are doing more harm than good. TV Squad writes:

Whoever creates the promos for Lost needs to start coordinating things with the show’s writers, or at least start watching the show. The last few Lost previews have made so many empty promises that I am considering hitting the Mute button on my remote when the ads come on. It should not be possible to over-dramatize the events on a show about plane crash survivors on a bizarre island, but ABC has achieved that feat.

broadcastingcable.com are of the same opinion:

It’s no secret that fans of ABC’s Lost have grown increasingly impatient with the show’s creators for ladling mystery upon mystery while tossing them mere scraps of revelation. Now Losties are blaming ABC’s promotions department for stoking those frustrations.

The writers of the above article managed to get a response from from ABC:

In an e-mail statement, ABC Entertainment’s marketing chiefs Mike Benson and Marla Provencio maintained that the “show delivered the answers to the three questions that were posed in the promo, which we believe are questions on our viewers minds.

“We have the utmost respect for Lost viewers,” they added. “Our intention is never to alienate, only to entice.”

My personal opinion is, and has always been, that the promos should be produced by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse since they are the ones who know the story and know how to not over-hype or spoil episodes.

Telling all your friends to come check out your new video game is guaranteed to gather a bunch of them in your living room, but when it turns out that you didn’t get a new game but just told them so to be popular, you will not only look like a fool but you might also lose your friends.

The same thing could happen to Lost if ABC’s promo department doesn’t stop over-hyping the show.

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11 Responses to Empty Promises in the Lost Previews

  1. downthehatch says:

    While, I agree that the marketing ploys are exagerated, to place blame on them is pure folly, IMO. All shows do this. Especially during sweeps. Granted, with a show like LOST, promising 3 questions answered (when the fans are craving answers)is probably not good marketing.

    They have done something of equal promise for this week. “If you miss this episode, you won’t know what folks are talking about.” I am quite skeptical about this. I have not seen a Hurley episode that was THAT revealing. Based on the scenes shown in the promos and the LOST moments and also knowing who can/might show up in a Hurley episode, we can guess that there will probably be a few Great Moments Fans have been asking about. Whether or not they turn out revealing will be another matter i.e. Cindy from this last episode.

    But Seriously, I think THAT promo should be left for the following Syied episode.

  2. AnotherOther says:

    Good point, all shows do that. Just don’t worry about it. I don’t like all the overhyping but I am still at the point that I can ignore it and still enjoy the show.

  3. Andreas says:

    Sure, we can ignore it, but I’m a bit worried that “regular viewers” will keep getting disappointed by Lost if they are promised “the greatest episode ever!” each week.

  4. MasterPo says:

    When ST:TNG and ST:DS9 were one the preview ALWAYS were totally 100% misleading. The previews always said in no-uncertain terms a plot that was absolutely not what the episode was about. This went on for at least 2 seasons that I can remember.

    There’s marketing and then there’s outright purposely misleading.

  5. Matthew says:

    I have stopped watching the promos, but I watch them on YouTube after I watch the episode they were preveiwing, and realise how much I would have been overhyped and/or spoiled if i’d have seen it before.

  6. cog says:

    I think that the promo people are laboring under the false assumption that we demand a “holy crap, that was amazing” episode every week. Other shows don’t try to deliver that, so why should Lost? It would be exhausting.

    Personally, I like episodes that are more self-contained, with a little bit of plot advancement thrown in for good measure. The promo people should just trust the audience–just give us a hint of what we’re going to see, and we’ll tune in.

  7. kyle says:

    i think it’s time that we realize that as Lost fans we are part of the problem. sure, we want answers, but everyone who whines about not getting enough answers (or people who stop watching or get bored because there is too much mystery and not enough answering) should remember what made us love the show in the first place: the mystery! personally, i would rather be baffled for 6 seasons until the end of the final episode than have a required number of answers by season three episode 9.

    sure, the promos are garbage, but when have you ever known advertisement to be anything but?

    just sit back and enjoy the msytery.

  8. Hatchet says:

    I never have nor ever will watch the promos. They spoil the best parts of the show. Whenever they come on, I close my eyes and hum a tune. Unless of course, the remote is nearby. Personally, I prefer to wait three weeks, download from Itunes and watch them back to back to back. It’s like watching a full length movie. I think more people would watch the show if they had Lost marathons like they do of crap shows like VH1’s “I love NY”.

  9. Lesley says:

    I agree for the last year plus some, the promos have become more and more misleading. Now that the buzz is about losing viewers the ad team just kicked it up a notch. I see the promos as any other ad, mostly hype, so I have taken to watching after 20 minutes have gone by so I can TIVO past all the crap. I think we all need to drop a line or two to ABC and let them know they are moving a bit out of bounds. Who knows it might work – they gave us no repeats when we spoke up.

  10. cheese says:


    i like the promos,

    even at times they only show a key part in your eyes to end up to be nothing much really,

    the last promo was cool the ole skool VW was IMAO, i even tried pausing it to see who was driving it, from the screens i saw, this person, has week or 2 gorth on the face with medium long hair, ,, mite be sawyer, or Desmond, or new dude.

  11. Pelinester says:

    I am so glad to see someone else bringing this up..

    In Australia, Channel 7 (which airs lost over here) constantly spoils events in future episodes (sometimes over 3 episodes before hand) and makes empty promises of ‘Answers’ and events which they say are going to take place which clearly do not in the episodes they are promoting. During season 1 they claimed that you will ‘finally get to see the monster’ during the promo for the episode where Locke is confronted whilst hunting bore. Obviously the audience gets absolutely no view of the monster so that was a flat out lie.

    Whenever I talk to someone about Lost over here they talk about being over all the false promises and not getting any answers. I understand why they feel this way – it’s the promos they run here. It is quite common for Australian TV channels to exploit their own shows in order to trick people into tuning in for an episode. All this does is make you resent the network and the programming.

    For this exact reason I started downloading episodes and watching them in time with the States, watching no promos and avoiding all spoilers. The show is a much better experience this way and I have never looked back.

    I am lucky I am already ahead in Season 3 because Channel 7’s promo for the FIRST episode of Season 3 mentioned that ‘Kate will finally choose’ and then showed the scene where her and Sawyer are tearing each others clothes off, many episodes before it was intended and totally out of context. I can’t believe there isn’t anyone at the network with the intelligence to understand how damaging this is and how much it destroys Lost’s potential for an Australian TV audience.

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