Posted: October 6, 2015, at 3:00 p.m.
by Hayley Kilgo.
No need to worry, TV fans. #TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) has finally returned for its fall 2015 season, and chances are you were counting down the days until the premiere on Sept. 24. Not only that, you probably canceled all plans for the hours of 7-10 p.m. for the remaining Thursdays this season, but only with the exception of having your friends over to watch while enjoying a glass of red wine — Olivia Pope style.
Whether or not you love ABC’s Thursday night drama series as much as I do, you have probably seen the commercials leading up to the fall premiere. ABC made sure to include the hashtag #TGIT to help advertise its latest TV campaign that includes a night full of dramas all produced by Shonda Rhimes. The series schedule for Thursday night is “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” (HTGAWM).
In a USAToday article, Cait Hood, Twitter’s head of broadcast partnerships, said, “TGIT is not just a single show, but an occasion that fans have been anticipating all summer on Twitter.”
With ABC recognizing the meaning behind #TGIT and then forming a brand around it, the company has proven to be successful at not only being a television network but knowing how to handle the social media marketing and programming for the shows. This year, ABC has partnered with Twitter to form a new emoji-based campaign. For the three Thursday night drama series, it created a way to attach certain brand-related emojis to people’s tweets when mentioning certain hashtags.
• #TGIT: a TV emoji
• #GreysAnatomy: a bandaged heart emoji
• #Scandal: a love couple emoji
• #HTGAWM: a lady justice emoji
By incorporating these emojis and allowing audience members to interact with the stars and producers of the shows as they live-tweet, #TGIT is becoming more and more popular, sending the hashtag to the “now trending page” on Twitter.
This small addition that may have not seemed like that big of a deal ended up being huge for ABC as the social interactions increased for the premiere. Although it’s been a year since the beginning of this campaign, statistics have proven that 2015 has beaten the number of views from 2014 by far. Twitter says the buzz for this fall TV season is also higher than in 2014. As of last week, 21 million tweets had been sent in anticipation of fall shows, an increase of 34 percent over last year.
As the season progresses, I only see ABC (and Shonda Rhimes) continuing to grab and keep viewers’ attention. After all, #TGIT is one of the main reasons why I haven’t canceled my cable and lived off just Netflix yet. So good job, ABC — keep up the great work.