LOS ANGELES: Ever hear of Push, Nevada?
You will. It's a fictional town and the title of a new series on ABC, and the focus of a large guerilla-marketing campaign by LA-based ADD Marketing and Advertising.
To hype the show's network debut this month, PR firm ADD (which stands for Attention Deficit Disorder) is running an elaborate effort aimed at convincing consumers that Push is a real destination.
The campaign came to light earlier this month when actors dressed as the Push, NV high-school hockey team made it on-camera outside the Good Morning America window. They gave weatherman Tony Perkins a jersey, which he then hyped to the camera - apparently without realizing he was promoting another ABC show. The incident raised some controversy, but faded out after an initial wave of publicity.
But Push's campaign extends far beyond morning TV. Outlets including Variety have received fake press releases from the Push, NV Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau extolling increased business since ABC started filming in the fake town. "Residents" of Push have also made appearances in chat rooms on sites like Tech TV, and mentions of it being a "really cool show" have appeared on chat sites for shows like Angel. Some outlets have also reported seeing hitchhikers with Push, NV signs along the West Coast.
And this week, Sprint PCS distributed a fake press release on PR Newswire announcing the opening of its new store in Push. Sprint is using the show to launch its PCS Vision service. "Residents" of Push will be seen using Sprint equipment, and offering testimonials on www.sprint-push.com.
"The show itself, as well as the residents through the website, are helping us educate potential customers," said Sprint spokesperson Nancy Sherrer.
She added that the company has received many calls from people who believe the release is real. "Both internal and external people have called us asking, 'Where is this store?'" she said.
ABC spokeswoman Charissa Gilmore declined to comment on the campaign, but said ADD would continue its efforts.