Friday, March 30, 2007

Contact the Advertisers!

Over at the TWoP forums, it was suggested that contacting advertisers would be a good way to drum up support for "How I Met Your Mother". Never one to pass up the chance to steal a good idea, I sat down with my TiVo and cataloged all of the advertisers for Season 2 of HIMYM.

My TiVo has all first-run episodes, so these are only the advertisers for new episodes. Also, while I tried to take out any local ads, some are hard to catch since they might be a national advertiser buying local time. I tried to be safe rather than sorry, but just be warned that some of the advertisers here may not have bought any national spots. I didn't keep track of PSA's of CBS promos for obvious reasons. A few ads were psuedo PSA's, though, and I did count them. (Pepsi had some annoying generic weight loss promos that were really just ads for Lays Potato Chips).

Now, you may have just noticed that I said Pepsi had ads for Lays. A lot of advertisers might share a parent company. I'll try to track that down later and post a new list, but for now here are the brands advertisers, not necessarily the company's advertising.

The biggest ad buyer was easily JCPenney. They are a MAJOR supporter of HIMYM and well worthy of contacting (and shopping at). They ran 17 ads in 9 of the 18 episodes of Season 2. They were a named sponsor of 8 of those episodes. Indeed, if I included their sponsor mentions, they have had 25 ads. Here are the rest of the multiple ad buyers...

Pampers- 2
Target- 2
Chase- 2
Over the Hedge- 2
Sears- 2
Energizer- 2
Lee- 2
Flushed Away- 2
Subway- 2
Claritin- 2
Happy Feet- 2
Chrysler- 2
Lays- 2
Deck the Halls- 2
Centrum- 2
VW- 2
Zales- 2
Kay- 2
H&R Block- 2
Vytorin- 2
Music and Lyrics- 2
Prego- 2
Celebrity Cruises- 2
Gatorade- 2
Hyundai- 3
Dr. Scholl's- 3
Olay- 3
McDonald's- 3
Applebee's- 3
Maybelline- 3
Nissan- 3
Citi- 3
Olive Garden- 3
Discover- 3
Red Lobster- 3
Hallmark- 4
Toyota- 4
Campbell's- 5
Disney Parks- 5
Verizon/ Verizon Wireless- 6
T-Mobile- 6
Cingular/AT&T- 9

So, who should you contact at these advertisers? Well, ideally, you'd want someone in their marketing department or a media buyer. I'm going to try to come up with a Postcard designed specifically for advertisers. Hopefully I've that up on Monday. (Other postcards to show support for HIMYM can be found here)

Realistically, clicking on the "Contact Us" link at their websites will probably be fine. What should you say? Thank you. Thank them for supporting How I Met Your Mother, and if you use their product, tell them so and how you're an enthusiastic consumer because they advertise on HIMYM. Don't lie. Don't claim you'd never heard of Campbell's Soups before "How I Met Your Mother" or claim to have the wireless plan to 3 different carriers. There's no need. Do NOT threaten to boycott them or try to bully them into bullying CBS. Nothing negative people. Those methods are bound to backfire. Just be positive and encouraging. And good luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Watch HIMYM Online!

The latest "Ask Ausiello" column is available over at TVGuide.com. He shoots down two possible shows he was refering to in the blind item that started all this fuss and then makes a non-too-subtle segue to mentioning that "How I Met Your Mother" episodes are available online at CBS.com. Anyone holding out hope that its not HIMYM can take that as a sign to stop hoping and start acting.

And indeed, he gives us a hint on another way to get CBS's attention. I know we all watch HIMYM every week. Many of us have episodes TiVoed from the start of the season. But, CBS doesn't know we are doing that. They do know when someone watches a show online.

So, head on over to the official "How I Met Your Mother" page on CBS.com. Click the link to watch episodes on CBS's "Innertube" service an enjoy this great show with the full knowledge that your viewing will be catalogged on a server log for all to see.

Jason Segal knows NCAA

Interesting thing to note: CBS has posted some celebrity NCAA brackets on their website, including the cast of How I Met Your Mother, and Jason Segal is doing extremely well. His record is better than all the other celebrity and college basketball experts that they've posted. All his teams made it to the Final Four, so he can still improve. He's ranked 5th overall from the thousands of people who have registered brackets with CBS. While its safe to assume that he's probably tied for 5th, this is obviously an impressive showing and one hopes it gives some exposure to HIMYM. Congrats to Segal and I am now rooting for Florida and Georgetown to go to the title game.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Save HIMYM: Online Feedback

I hope everyone's written their letters and voted in polls, etc. I was thinking that an organized "virtual demonstration" might be effective, too. I'm wary about the effectiveness of online feedback. I know a lot of organizations barely glance at their online feedback. If the "I Love HIMYM" emails trickled in over a week, they may go unnoticed. However, if we all hit them on Monday night after the show airs, that might catch some attention.

So, I'm asking all "How I Met Your Mother" fans to go to CBS.com tonight and scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Feedback" to let them know that you love the show and are looking forward to its 3rd season. If we make a habit of doing this every week, we might be able to draw some more attention to the strong fanbase for HIMYM.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Save One Show at E!

So, you've written your letter, left your online feedback, signed a petition, bought the DVDs, and uploaded a podcast. What next?

Why online polling, of course.

E! is first out of the gate with their "Save One Show" poll. Go over there and show your support for How I Met Your Mother.

Haaaaave you met the Season 1 DVD?

Something else you can do to show your support for HIMYM is buy the Season 1 DVD. DVD sales are increasingly important to demonstrating the audience for TV shows. While FOX actually produces the show and is the one who earns money from the DVD, CBS will pay attention to the DVD sales. Since you can't go back in time and buy one when it came out, you can at least get it now.

Look, if you don't have the money right now, don't feel guilty or anything. That's fine and totally understandable. I'm not trying to coerse anyone here. But if you do have some bucks to spare and haven't picked up the set, now would be a great time. The commentaries are a great listen and there are some other cool extras. Yes, its missing some music and deleted scenes would have be awesome, but its still a fine set that any fan of HIMYM would love. You may not know me, but consider it highly recommended by me all the same.

Have you already met the Season 1 set? Well, share your comments!

Oh, right. The Show.

We're not just about saving HIMYM here at "Your Mom Is a Blog". We also like the show. So in case you missed it, here is the MySpace exclusive extended version of Barney's Top 10 things he would have called his truck if Ted hadn't been a jerk and given it back.

How I Met Your Mother - How It Really Happened

What else?

So, you've written your letter. You've a signed a petition. Do you just sit back and wait for the show to be renewed? Heck no. If you post on a HIMYM forum, send them the link to this site. Urge people to take action.

After that, be creative. Make videos extolling the virtues of HIMYM and post them on YouTube. Record a podcast. Make a Flikr photo essay. Use the internet to get your message out and show people how great How I Met Your Mother is. And if you do something, let me know and I'll post it here at "Your Mom Is a Blog". Get to work, people!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Petitions Can't Hurt

While I think letter writing is more effective than petitions, its not like signing an online petition can hurt. So feel free to sign this one. It prompted me to donate money to the host website, but feel free to ignore that. Once you get to that page, you've already signed the petition.

Who to send to? (Local Edition)

At least as important as contacting CBS Television executives is contacting the Station Managers at their local affliates. It's always best to put a name on your letter, so try to find out the name of your local CBS station's top personnel before sending your letter.

How can you find that out? Well, if you're lucky, its already online. Wikipedia has a list of of CBS television stations and many of the Wikipedia pages for individual stations list their administration. My local CBS affiliate is WBZ-TV in Boston. Sure enough, it gives me their General Manager, their station manager, and anyone else I might want to contact. Another good person to contact is their Sales Director.

Now, not every Wikipedia entry will have that info, but don't worry. Check out your local station's website to see if they have it. If not, you can always just try calling them and asking for the name of their Station Manager and/or President. Local stations are a great way to have an impact here. Us contacting the CBS Network is good, but if we can get the local affiliates contacting them, it'll have an even greater impact. As always, be positive and encouraging. We don't need to despair yet, so keep things up-beat. We want to show them that there is a fan base for HIMYM who is dedicated and frequent viewers and that we are valuable to the network. Good luck!

Who to send to?

So, you've written your letter to CBS. No what?

Well, you'll want to send some right to the CBS Network. Remember, these people aren't our enemies. We're trying to offer them positive feedback. I can't say that enough (though I'm clearly trying) Here are some suggestions, but if you know any other executives at CBS Television, let me know and I'll add them to this list.

Leslie Moonves, President of the CBS Corporation: He's the biggest of the big at CBS, but presides over a lot more than just the CBS Network. Couldn't hurt to send him the letter, but he's not going to have much to do with day-to-day opperations at the Network.

His Mailing address is:
Leslie Moonves
CBS Headquarters
51 West 52 Street
New York, New York 10019-6188

Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment: As President of CBS Entertainment, Nina Tassler is the top person at the CBS Network in charge of shows like "How I Met Your Mother". Her biography even makes a point to mention the show. She's clearly a very important person to contact about this.

For all CBS Television executives, the mailing address is:
CBS Television Network
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

My Letter to CBS

As long as I'm encouraging you to write to CBS, I wanted to show you what I'm writing to CBS. If its easier for you, feel free to use this as a guide for writing your own letter but do try to put it in your own voice for the most impact. Have your own letter to share? Post it in the Comments. I'll post the best of them as new blog entries. I'm sure you can do a better job than I did, so send them along. This won't take days for you to write your own, either. I wrote mine while watching TV. Just get your thoughts down and send them to CBS.

I wanted to express my significant appreciation and admiration for the CBS television program, How I Met Your Mother. This is one of the finest comedies on television today, and shaping up to one of the best sitcoms in television history. It is a testament to the CBS network and its advertisers that such an entertaining program is part of your line-up of shows.

I have eagerly watched How I Met Your Mother since its first season and have been continuously impressed at the quality of writing and acting of this show. I am an extremely amused viewer every Monday night. I watch eagerly ever week, including repeats, and the show has led me to sample other CBS programming that is promoted on the show. Before How I Met Your Mother, to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t watched CBS in years. As a young adult in my late 20’s, I simply did not feel the network had anything to offer me as a viewer. From Jericho to Rules of Engagement to Cold Case to The Class, I am now a CBS viewer and have advocated for your shows to my friends and family.

I want to thank you for bringing a fine program like How I Met Your Mother to the airwaves. It is part of a new generation of appointment television for those of us who have come of age with TiVo. I simply cannot wait to watch How I Met Your Mother and I know a great many people who agree with me. I look forward to enjoying this program on the CBS network for years to come.

Send CBS Online Feedback

Want something to do right now? Well, go to CBS.com and scroll to the bottom of the page. Look for the link called "Feedback". Clicking on it will open a new window where you send CBS your comments about their shows. You can even select the show you want to offer feedback. Just remember, don't threaten CBS and pout at them or be angry. Just be positive and tell them you like the show and why. Tell them how often you watch the show. Tell them you are in a top demographic.

And while online feedback is great, I can't overstate the value of the printed word, so be sure to write a letter too. We need to make our voices heard as much as possible.

An Introduction of Sorts

This blog is for fans of "How I Met Your Mother" on CBS. Specifically, fans of "How I Met Your Mother" who want to continue enjoying the show on CBS.

This all started on March 21, when TV Guide columnist Michael Ausiello posted a "blind item" on TVGuide.com entitled "Beloved Comedy on the Bubble". In it, he suggests an unnamed sitcom is at risk of cancellation which is not often thought as being "on the bubble". From his hints, its not hard to see that "How I Met Your Mother" is the likely show being discussed. Ausiello suggests that the show's future depends on people acting on his blind item. That's what "Your Mom Is A Blog" is all about.

Sure, we don't know for certain that HIMYM is at risk. Still, would it hurt to show CBS our appreciation of the show? I think not. I'm starting this blog to urge fans of "How I Met Your Mother" to write CBS and their local CBS affiliates to express their love for HIMYM and how much they hope the show will stay on the air for years to come. Lets offer some positive reinforcement. We shouldn't need talk of cancelation to express our enjoyment of the TV Shows we like. We TV Networks do right, we should let them know. We should thank them. All too often, people only complain about things they don't like. Understandably. They don't like a show, so they complain. They don't want a show cancelled, so they complain. Well, that's all well and good and I'm not here to say that TV viewer's shouldn't voice our negative opinions. But let us also take the opportunity to let our positive opinions be known. Let us train our networks not simply with the snark of the chain, but also with praise in a calm soothing voice. And possibly doggie treats. You know, if TV Execs go for that sort of thing.

So, I call upon the fans of "How I Met Your Mother" to write to CBS. Write to your local CBS station. Tell them that they are doing something right. Whether HIMYM is at risk or not, there is nothing wrong with telling someone they've done something good, and "How I Met Your Mother" is definitely good.

I'll try to keep this Introduction at the top of my blog, so continue reading for information about contacting local affiliates, calls to action, sample letters, and more. Let our voices be heard. Let CBS known that we like them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007