Why and How do certain TV shows gain a cult following? Essay Plan

Paragraph 1 – Introduction

– Definition of a Cult
“Is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of culture. A film, book, musical artist, television series, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base

– Introduction to Game of Thrones
A TV show with a cult following is the HBO series “Game of Thrones”. Game of Thrones is based on the hit book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” written by George R.R. Martin and is a medieval fantasy. The TV series is considered to be one of the most highly acclaimed TV series of all time, with one of the most passionate fan bases ever with opinions of a more extreme fan base than the likes of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

Paragraph 2 – GOT Audience

– Highest number of viewers
Game of Thrones highest viewed episode came in series 3 episode 6 “The Climb” which aired on May 5th 2013. This episode attracted approximately 5.5 million viewers in the U.S. 
Premiere viewers – season 1,2,3

– The Red Wedding views

Paragraph 3, 4 + 5- Advertising
– 5 senses campaign 
“HBO needed to raise awareness about the premiere of Game of Thrones in a way that appealed to both new audiences and hardcore fans of the book series. Campfire’s team, led by Creative Director Steve Coulson rolled out a five-week campaign that engaged each of the five senses. At the same, an online fan engagement campaign was launched in which online communities worked together to unlock exclusive video rewards. Each video was connected to the five senses and chosen to increase overall buzz and anticipation for the show.”

“The first sense in the campaign was scent – carefully curated packages including an antiqued box filled with custom-made scents from the regions of Westeros and illustrated manuscripts were sent to journalists, bloggers and influencers. The resulting coverage and “unboxing videos” kicked off an intriguing campaign for a wide audience.”

“The second sense in the campaign was sound – with the launch of “The Inn at the Crossroads”. This “interactive sound environment” lived on the The Maester’s Pathsite, and allowed users to walk around the inn and eavesdrop on different conversations. The environment was recorded using an advanced binaural recording setup that created a simulated 3D effect when experienced with headphones.”

“The third sense in the campaign was sight. This was achieved by bringing to life a 700 ft ice wall (that was later featured prominently on the show) through a game-like experience on The Maester’s Path Site. Using only the Flash plugin, a section of the Wall became explorable and included social interaction and challenging gameplay.”

“The fourth sense in the campaign was touch – or “feel”. To achieve this, an app for both iPhone and iPad was built to create a “climate-driven storytelling experience” for fans. Called “Ice & Fire” – this app illustrated the extremes of heat and cold in Westeros. It also provided a glimpse into the different regions of the kingdom based on the forecast in the user’s personal geographic 

“The fifth and final sense of the campaign was taste. Tom Colicchio of Top Chef created a series of regional dishes from the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, distributed via food trucks in New York & LA. Each day, a recipe video featuring Colicchio was released, and clues to the truck’s locations were posted on Facebook and Twitter. This resulted in long lines of fans waiting in anticipation and garnered widespread, mainstream press interest.”

– Requires fans involvement 
– Posters – fan art
– French artist
– Official posters
– Comic con 
– HBO Store
– Clothing worn by fans – advertising 
Twitter account – official and fan 
– Facebook page

Paragraph 6 – Theories 
– Related to paragraph 3, 4 & 5 

Paragraph 7 – Fans Devotion 
– BBC article
– Fancy dress

Paragraph 8 – GOT origins
– Origins of Game of Thrones
The origins of the Game of Thrones series comes from the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” the series consists of 5 books so far with 2 yet to be released. The name of the series comes from the first book of the series “A Game of Thrones” and the series follows the books chronologically. 

– Origins of GOT cult

Paragraph 9 – Other Cults
– Look at other cults
– Breaking Bad
– Harry Potter
– Fight Club

– Look at the origins of them
– Look at book related cults 
– Book I read in film studies closet…
… About film cults (fight club and…
… The warriors) 
– Tv Cults – Breaking Bad Cult

Paragraph 10 – Conclusion


One thought on “Why and How do certain TV shows gain a cult following? Essay Plan

  1. Hi Jack.

    Your question leads the reader to begin to consider different cult tv shows, but your focus pretty much on GoT…so whatever you do, you are in danger of leaving the reader dissatisfied with your outcome. Instead, you may wish to focus your question on GoT so that it becomes the main focus of your study (which it already is).

    Reading your essay plan, I’m not entirely sure what the points are you wish to make. Sure, it is clear from each paragraph what you are going to write about, but I’m unsure about the overarching theme or argument you are building up. This is partly because the essay plan (and indeed the detail in it) focuses mainly on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘why’–and then you have a section entitled simply ‘theories’ which should be more embedded throughout. I would think about making your essay points based rather than evidence based–it’s a bit like you are allowing your primary research and evidence to dictate to you what the essay should be about.

    Instead, your essay is crying out to have a different perspective…
    –who are these audiences which are drawn to cult tv?
    –what are the stereotypical manifestations of cult following?
    –what is the background behind such cult fandom? Is it about a certain genre, or types of genres?
    –what audience or social theories explain why people choose to devote themselves to a cult show…and how far do these things normally go?
    –is cult tv all about the minority following, or does it expand in some instances to mainstream, and if so, what are the manifestations amongst that?
    –what cult tv shows have a mainstream audience?
    –is it a fad, or is it going to grow and grow thanks to new technology?
    –does it really matter?

    Make your essay work from a theoretical perspective rather than from a primary evidence based perspective.

Give me some feedback!

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