Fancast campaign offers new program “grid”

October 6, 2008

I love this take on the old programming grid. You know, the kind you used to look up in your newspaper each morning to see what was on that night? (Flashback: me, in my parents’ room, looking for the E section of the newspaper so I could see if the episode of Three’s Company on that night was new or a rerun.) 

Fancast’s take on it highlights all the reasons why online video is so successful. Instead of 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, and so on on the left side, the row headers read: “Mad Early,” “Whenever I Want,” even “During Work,” (not that anyone would condone such a thing, I’m sure). Not only is the campaign (via email and the Sunday New York Times) witty, but it’s practical — you can filter shows by meaningful categories or click on a show to read more or launch the player. I obviously chose Gilligan’s Island, and was rewarded with a picture of Mary Ann, who I pick over Ginger any day. Wow, that’s effective targeting, Fancast!

This is the kind of consumer-friendly energy that cable MSOs like Comcast (which owns Fancast) aren’t traditionally expected to manifest. But given the likelihood of cable cord-cutting in the coming years (see my post on that), it’s wise for Comcast to start building these consumer connections now.