Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Pacific and Fan Generated Content

HBO's miniseries The Pacific is midway through its ten week showing and is already drawing praise similar to that given to its companion series Band of Brothers. HBO fully utilizes social media to market its original programming and is continuing this strategy with The Pacific. Their social media strategy encourages fans to generate content far beyond the first run of the series. Fans have already produced an enormous amount of content through reviews, comments, and forum discussions. Thanks to these fans, the series will remain alive even beyond its first run and viewers will find plenty of opportunities to join in on the discussion now or in the future.

Official Content

HBO maintains an official website for the series. The site includes a forum, newsletter, photos and videos, episode guides, and several "making of" videos. The site is professionally designed and matches the style of the pages of HBO's other original programming. Fans can interact on the forum and can also submit stories about family members who are veterans of the war.
HBO also maintains a fan page on Facebook for the series. The official The Pacific Facebook fan page is one of the best fan pages for a TV show or movie on Facebook. There is a welcome video, information about the series, wallpaper and posters, music from the series, a discussion board, videos, and much more. There are already over 108,000 fans of the page and the wall is filled with user comments. HBO also posted 27 official trailers and interviews from The Pacific on Youtube. There is much more online about the series but the remainder is mostly fan generated.

Fan Generated Content

One of the main sources for fan generated content is the Official Fan Site. The site contains previews of upcoming episodes, news regarding the series, and an active forum. Fans can post reviews of episodes and discuss the series and the history of World War Two.

Fan reviews and forum discussions can also be found at Internet Movie Database. There are 28 reviews so far and 78 pages of forum discussion. This content will only grow as the series continues and then the DVDs are released.

An interesting place to find more user reviews is at Product listings are already posted for the soundtrack, the book, and the soon-to-be released DVD’s for The Pacific. Each listing allows for fan product reviews too. Beyond these sites, there is a listing at Wikipedia and numerous blogs and review sites maintained by fans.


There's already an enormous amount of content online about The Pacific and it's growing daily. HBO set-up the series main website, fan page on Facebook, and posted videos from the series on Youtube in order to get things started. But the remainder of the online content is coming from fans and users who post reviews, comments, and discussions on the growing number of forums and sites dedicated to the series. Fortunately for HBO, the series is getting positive reviews. Otherwise, this strategy could backfire as fans might blog and discuss the failings of the series and affect DVD sales. But the sucess of the series and the extent to which it is already discussed online provides further evidence of the power of social media and the value of user generated content.

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