Last week Adrants wrote about NBC‘s clumsy response to Natalie Portman fans who had uploaded a skit she did on Saturday Night Live, a hilarous bit of her as a gangsta rapper. NBC cease-and-desisted YouTube, where the video had been uploaded, and, complying with their own copyright policy, YouTube took the video down.
NBC reposted the clip on their own site with this note:
Now, instead of searching the web for "borrowed" NBC highlights, you can go to the source! We’ve taken your viral favorites and gathered them into one convenient location. Watch. React. Tell a friend.
Yep, that’s real convenient. That last part is telling: Tell a friend. Adrants quoted an NBC exec saying "We would like to make it as easy for people to share as we can, so we’re trying to provide as many tools as we can to do that."
The only "tool" NBC provides is an email form. NBC’s actions demonstrate the opposite of their words.
It was a short-sighted move. They lost out on a ton of free publicity, gained a lot of negative press, and passed on an opportunity to bolster a brand that has been sagging for years. I grew up on SNL and couldn’t wait to watch it when I was a kid. I hardly ever watch it now because the rap against Saturday Night Live is that it isn’t funny.
The Portman clip demonstrated otherwise. For no cost at all, they could have gained valuable postive branding by allowing the clip to remain on YouTube and letting others paste it onto their sites.
NBC should be uploading clips themselves. If they included the commericals and tacked on some tracking tools, they could even charge extra for value-added advertising.