At this point, we feel like you’ve read our Outlander coverage enough to know that we love taking a look at the future — also, we’ve love speculating about network promotional strategies.
Before we kick things off, remember to check out our latest Outlander video — this one about the future of Jamie Fraser — at the bottom of this article! If you enjoy this one, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTuben and also take a look at our full series playlist. We have more new videos coming your way every Sunday.
Over the years, Starz has done a lot for this show in between debuting it at various events, creating installations for conventions, holding panels with the cast, and even creating custom hashtags this past season. They’ve also recognized that Outlander is a year-round phenomenon. There are some shows that air three or so months a year, but you don’t really think about them all that much either before they premiere and after they wrap — they’re the sort that you think about a week or so beforehand when you’re like “oh, that’s on again.” That’s not the case with Outlander. There’s almost always something going down in this world! Sometimes, it’s filming; other times, it’s the cast attending an event; other times, it’s just hearing a few things from the show’s producers. There is constantly an appetite here that Starz needs to cater to … and they do seem happy to do just that most of the time.
With all of this laid out, we do feel for where the show is right now just because there are a lot of substantial challenges for them in 2019 with this show — more than likely, season 5 isn’t premiering until next year, and they have to find a way to keep people engaged. They know the diehards (a.k.a. most of the people who hang out with us here or on the YouTube channel) are going to stick around, but what about the casual viewers? How do you make sure that they keep talking about the greatness that is Outlander? You give them little breadcrumbs, appetizers for a meal that is coming down the road.
Think back to before season 4 and what the network did then — they released a small, ten-second teaser following the season 3 finale, which they were able to do because season 4 was already in production. From there, they released an exclusive scene from the premiere early in 2018 — that was a nice gift to fans, but we’re not sure if that’s a permanent tradition so much as Starz just shaking their first at Altice for a programming dispute going on at that time. They then released a full teaser in late July, coupled with a trailer in early September. That wait from early 2018 until July was the most painful, and there could be a long wait coming up once more … but we don’t think we’re there yet.
We do think there’s merit to Starz giving out another ten-to-fifteen-second teaser, similar to what they did at the end of season 3 leading into season 4 — that’s where we saw Jamie and Claire talking about the many wonderful opportunities that awaited them in America.
(We know that the runtime on this teaser is about 21 seconds, but there’s really not 21 seconds worth of content here.)
The question Starz eventually has to ask themselves here is this: Where do you place a teaser for maximum exposure, and to get people talking about the show as a whole? Our feeling is that you unleash it in late April, and do so alongside the season 2 finale of American Gods. There won’t be enough footage at the start of season 2 to do anything, but you can place a tiny snipper or two before the finale to start generating some buzz far in advance. Maybe, at that point you also confirm officially that the new season is premiering in 2020 — you don’t need to just up with a megaphone and shout a specific date at anyone, but it’d be nice to get some more clarification on the future.
As for what you could feature in ten or so seconds, think the aftermath of Jamie’s big cliffhanger, a tease of the Gathering (set to be a part of season 5 to some degree), or the entire Fraser clan arriving at Fraser’s Ridge! Any of these would be worthwhile for a smile … and to make us plead for more. We recognize that it could be late summer/fall before we get anything else when it comes to footage … we’ll take whatever we can get to drum up more excitement for the next phase of this story.
Have you seen our Outlander perspectives series?
As of late, we’ve been reflecting on some of the best stuff that season 4 had to offer! You can check out some of it now over here, and there are more results coming soon.
What do you think the best Outlander season 5 teaser release strategy is? Sound off now in the comments! (Photo: Starz.)