In reactive mode to last season’s lukewarm ratings, FX has kicked up their efforts to sell the reality series that for nine years has provided the world with shirtless, heavily tattooed young men performing all sorts of repugnant ballyhoo on each other. Oh yeah, they fight too. Ratings have been in decline for a few years, and last season when the UFC debuted on FX with a new “live” format, they got even worse. So the execs at FX have decided to scrap the live fights and go back to the taped format, concentrating more on personal story lines to sell the series.
But the kicker is their new slogan. “The Ultimate Fighter Fridays…Welcome to the End of the Weak.”
That’s the jingle for season 16 of TUF, which is set to begin on September 14th. And here I thought marketing was a specialized profession requiring some serious skills. Not that it’s a bad slogan, per se. The “End of the Weak” part is clever, I suppose. But the show is barely about introducing new fighters anymore. It’s more about hyping the fight between the coaches. And most importantly, it’s a stale concept. There’s no easy way to revitalize a stale concept. This season will probably do slightly better than last, but only because the tension between Roy Nelson and Dana White has sparked a little interest. Aside from that, most of us will not turn down beer and wings at the local bar for TUF. We’ll DVR it, if we remember. If not, oh well, no biggy.
So can a nifty slogan attract more eyeballs? If the show wasn’t pushing a decade in age, perhaps. Now, even with all the garbage they’re competing against, it’s doubtful. They could have saved millions in marketing costs by just pulling a slogan out of their ass like, “May as Well, Aint Shit Else On.”