A Look at Breaking Bad's Marketing on Facebook

There’s a relatively new show on TV called Breaking Bad. It stars Hal from ‘Malcom in the Middle’ as a middle aged highschool chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer, nonchalantly decides to put his chem skills to use by teaming up with one of his old students to cook meth. It’s a somewhat dark drama.. but since it’s Hal, it’s also light, and always entertaining.

The show is on its second episode and its pretty good, but it’s not exactly what inspired me to write this article. The creators of the show have developed a game for Facebook that markets the show in a fantastic way.

The game itself is basically an intense version of mastermind. I was impressed by three things.

Firstly, the integration of the selection of friends or random Facebook players into the game itself is seamless. You need a partner to play, and you get to pick one within the game with pictures and names embedded into the graphics.

Secondly, the game was fun and addicting. It wasn’t just addicting because it was fun, or because you build up your score and rank and compete with your friends and the rest of Facebook. It wasn’t because the game gets more difficult the more you play either.

It was addicting because (thirdly..) every time you win a game it opens up a square on your periodic table, and each square gives you access to a different clip from the show. Collect a whole row and you can watch a whole scene.

This app is a fantastic example of a marketing solution for a product that can attract people who are not necessarily searching for it or anything in particular. This is why Facebook adds value over search marketing. The vast majority of people who find out about Breaking Bad through this app will have been looking for a game and have found the show. It’s also a great way for fans of the show to spread the word. Try that with a keyword ad.

The app only has 80 daily active users, which I think further highlights the problem that faces the Facebook platform right now. I believe that, in time, the new notification rules will let people get completely tired of the useless apps and allow the creamy ones to finally rise to the top.

Hey LOST… where’s YOUR app?

Jonathan Kleiman

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