Gossip Girl isn’t a show that’s centered around sex, though you’d never know it by looking at the ad campaigns the CW has cooked up to promote the series. When the show returned for its post-strike run last season, the network promoted it with a controversial “OMFG” ad campaign that had teens smirking and parents getting the vapors. The commercials and posters focused on the show’s scandalous hook-ups rather than its well-drawn characters or clever dialogue. It was a risky campaign, but it garnered a lot of press and ensured Gossip Girl was on everyone’s minds.
With season 2 of the series set to premiere on September 1, the CW has decided to not only up the sex appeal in their most recent ads, but also to poke fun at the parental outrage the show inspires.
The first poster shows Nate (Chace Crawford) and his older flame played by Madchen Amick half-naked in bed together. It’s a simple image that stands out on its own, but what makes the poster fairly brilliant is a quote from the Parents Television Council that simply reads: “Mind-blowingly inappropriate.” The PTC is often considered one of the most uptight and annoying organizations around, so it’s no surprise that the CW decided to use one of their quotes to promote the series. After all, what teen doesn’t want to watch something that a group of parents have deemed horribly inappropriate?
The second poster shows a mystery man (Chuck? Nate?) nuzzling up against Serena (Blake Lively). It’s another sexy photo, but it’s the quote from the Boston Herald proclaiming the show “every parent’s nightmare” that truly makes the poster standout.
The CW is trying to appeal to teens by making the series seem too hip and provocative for their parents, which is a bold move. This new campaign will likely upset groups like the Parents Television Council even more, but it also might work to draw in the younger demographic. After all, part of the fun of being a teenager is watching things your parents don’t approve of. The CW seems determined to keep Gossip Girl as racy and scandalous as possible as it moves into its sophomore season, even if the grown-ups don’t like it.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Images courtesy of the CW)