Glee Fans – Go After the Advertisers

Once upon a time, there was this TV show called, Chuck.  The show was on the air around the time of the writer’s strike, and because it had a smaller following, the show was slated to be cancelled after its 2nd season.  However, the studio was messing with the wrong fandom.


In an innovative, highly successful campaign, Chuck fans didn’t send their mail to the network, but they appealed to an advertiser who could fund the show; the fast food chain, Subway.  Chuck fans organized on social media, and started buying Subway sandwiches like crazy.

They were persistent, organized some really cool events, got strong support from outside sources and by showing their support for Subway, NBC and Subway forged a partnership to fund the next season of the show.  Chuck fans played a large role in saving their show with a small but passionate group of people.

Check out an article about the Chuck Subway campaign here.

Now, for Glee…

The mission with Glee is a little different, but the fan base so much larger.  Fans want better stories, more of the original cast, more of the big 3 (Brittana, Klaine and Finchel) and equal treatment, particularly for Brittana.  In short, Glee fans want better writing, which isn’t happening this season.  In addition, rumors about Ryan Murphy’s pitch for season 5 looks worse.

The fact that large numbers of Glee fans are not happy about the show should be no secret to anyone who has the internet at this point.   Ratings regularly reflect this dissatisfaction as well.  But for some reason, the torrent of Twitter trending, emails, tweets, letters, phone calls to Fox, to the writers and anyone else in connection with the show have been wildly unsuccessful.

While certainly writers own the show and the characters, there is a fine line they need to walk between storytelling and alienating their largest, longest standing fan bases.  This season alone, Glee creators have done exactly this; they have been writing a show that the majority of their fans are not invested in at best, and hate at worst.  The loss in viewership will only continue as patience runs out.  No matter what ownership of the story the creators have, their stories are worthless without an audience.

I think as Glee fans, we need to be more innovative with our campaign, since the network, studio and creators aren’t listening.  Advertising is that next step because without advertising, there is no money to pay the salaries of the people hell bent on ignoring their fans.  Advertisers also want to support shows that fans watch, and since Glee has a huge fan base, threatening the loss of that kind of viewership to advertisers might actually make a difference.

Glee Season 3

Advertising equals money, and money talks.  If fans say point blank they will stop watching Glee without real changes, advertisers will be less inclined to support that kind of show.  If fans can then convey the general changes they would like to see (equal treatment, more of the original cast, less repetitive storytelling, etc.), perhaps there is a chance fans will be heard and real changes made to improve the show that we used to love.

It is no secret that Brittana fans (one of the most vocal and passionate fan bases) have major issues with Glee.  The double standards Glee perpetuates are wrong, and the way these equality issues are ignored and the rude way fans are addressed both on Twitter and through offensive dialog, is despicable and unacceptable.  Klaine has also suffered from equality issues.  Advertisers might be the perfect avenue to air these equality concerns, since so far, nobody else is willing to listen.

I specifically address the concerns surrounding equality because, over the last year, corporations have been showing HUGE support for the LGBT community.  UPS, United Way, Merck Company Foundation and the Intel Foundation pulled funding from the Boy Scouts because of their anti-gay policies.  JC Penny refused to remove Ellen DeGeneres or a lesbian couple from their advertising.  Starbucks stood tall in its defense of the LGBT community.  Equality is important to the right kind of companies, and that number of companies is growing.  That is something we can use to our advantage.

With a little research, an organized, well placed campaign appealing to an advertiser/s that are paying to put Glee on the air might be the perfect new avenue for fans to travel.  At this point, I doubt I am watching season 5 (or maybe the rest of even season 4) with the way things have been going.  I know I am not the only one.  Glee needs to change, and we need a new way to get there.  Go after the advertisers!

About VersusTheFans

Amplifying and celebrating the value of popular art, especially TV, in giving a voice to women and the LGBT community, in addition to serving as a media watcher on LGBT reporting.

Posted on March 10, 2013, in All Posts, Fandom, LGBTQ, Representation, Social Media, TV Shows and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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