"Nothing" goes on tour
"Seinfeld," the famed "show about nothing," found itself with something of a marketing dilemma. After more than a decade has passed since its network run, the sitcom's distributor, Sony Pictures Television, sensed a need to court a new generation of viewers to keep its syndication ratings high. Key to this strategy, as detailed in a November 21st New York Times Sunday Magazine column was a 60-foot bus touring college campuses and other venues, hoping to interest "those who were too young to have participated in the show’s first-run popularity." So far, so good. Then we get to this paragraph:
The bus’s interior has been modified into a kind of rolling Smithsonian for “Seinfeld” freaks, displaying props like the Bro/Manzier, “Fusilli Jerry,” the Assman license plate, the doll that looks like George’s mom and a replica of “the puffy shirt.”
And whether on campuses or at malls or sporting events, what’s easiest to imagine is the fervent believer dragging along potential converts.
The bus...simply makes tangible the devotion that already exists, presenting the show about nothing as a labyrinthine text, a fully immersive narrative that’s not about nothing but about itself: totems, references, rituals. It’s a walk-in catechism.