“A Million Little” Video Clips

From “America’s Funniest Home Videos” to “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, owned by Walt Disney Television, has a long reference list of popular television shows that have captured the hearts of viewers.


So when “A Million Little Things” aired in 2018, it was no surprise when the drama was dubbed a success. As the television network has geared up to release season two of the fledgling series, it, like many, took to YouTube to promote new episodes. Unlike traditional advertising models, however, ABC chose an unconventional route that both impressed me and left me wondering about the long-term effectiveness of such a strategy.


YouTube advertisements generally keep to a six-second length to deter viewers from skipping over them. In a move to promote its new season, ABC embedded its 43-minute-long pilot episode of “A Million Little Things” into the ad buffers on YouTube.


Due to this, search results for the TV drama more than tripled on YouTube.


What does this mean for marketers?


The most impressive point to note is the genius that went into the advertising campaign. While many are focused on creating flashy content to catch a viewer’s attention, ABC chose to market its drama by simply using the television show itself. This means that despite someone not watching the show, they still experienced the pilot episode, resulting in peaked interest by those who otherwise may not have bothered tuning into the series.


In addition, ABC acknowledged that the number of connected-TV devices (such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV) has risen in popularity. Due to this, embedding the pilot series into the advertisement buffer for those streaming videos is a clever tactic that gets content increased visibility at its intended quality level. It also demonstrates that ABC understands its audience and their preferences for watching TV.


Whether this tactic will remain successful, and if other organizations will follow suit, remains to be seen. We cannot dismiss the cleverness of the campaign, though.