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Arrested Development posters prove power of inside jokes

Veiled in constant secrecy, the fourth season of Arrested Development will be released in its entirety online, but is their use of inside jokes a good approach? Given their fan base, no, it’s brilliant.

arrested development

arrested development

Arrested Development advertising intrigues

When marketing a brand, the majority of ad campaigns attempt to appeal to new customers and broaden their audience, but Arrested Development has done just the opposite in promoting the May 26 Netflix-only debut of the entire 15-episode fourth season. The internet will likely be quite slow the weekend of the 26th as Arrested Development fans binge on the entire season after waiting for many, many years to see in its full glory.

TVLine‘s Michael Auselio got a first look at three of the posters to promote the series which will be seen around New York and Los Angeles starting next week. All three posters feature inside jokes from past seasons, references only die hard fans (read: those waiting for May 26th) and continues to raise excitement levels of viewers.




Arrested Development is spoiler-free, so are their ads

Even with no trailer and only few spoilers like the fact that SNL’s Kristen Wiig will appear on the show, as will Isla Fisher, Seth Rogen, Conan O’Brien and others. But not much else has leaked other than the actual stair car being spotted on a flatbed riding down the highway, potentially confirming its presence in the series, but the cast and crew has kept a lid on the series.

The posters continue with the hush-hush theme about the series, and instead of promoting future events to be seen on the show as most shows’ promotional materials do, they refuse to give any hints, rather reference inside jokes fans are already familiar with, but by doing so, the posters have gone viral online, simply fanning the flames of an existing fan base.

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Why inside jokes and secrecy are brilliant in this case

Should the show think inside the box and broaden their appeal? Are the posters a mistake, alienating potential fans who have no idea why there is always money in the banana stand or why Tobias blue himself?

Not at all – this series will be enjoyed by old fans, but by the end of May, social networks will be lit up with fans screaming about the show and how amazing it is after having had to wait for so long. Inside jokes can be risky, but for a cult classic that will be a hit the moment viewers tune in to Netflix, it’s the perfect approach, as proven by the web’s reaction to the posters.

Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.



  1. Tinu

    April 11, 2013 at 12:19 am

    You’re right. It’s incredibly brilliant. NO TOUCHING.


    April 16, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I love this “subtle to some’ form of marketing, or as you call it “jokes and secrecy”. You see this in many television sitcoms where they have a secret cameo, with a message that says little to most, but to that particular actors fans base, can trigger an emotion or has some relevance. It’s kind of like a secret club. Whats great about this, is that the rumor buzz created by the people that get it, takes off like wild fire, while the people that don’t get it, start hunting for the answers, which are most of the time leaked by an insider creating additional murmurs. An example of a company that does a great job of creating that underlying message that’s only privy to few, is DreamWorks. If you are a baby boomer, the underlying messages in the Movie Shrek, mean something far different to you than to your child.

    Arrested Development
    Lucille: Get me a vodka rocks.
    Michael: Mom, it’s breakfast.
    Lucille: And a piece of toast.

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