Since its parent company purchased social networking site MySpace.com, Fox is now using MySpace to promote its TV shows. On MySpace.com, attaching your name to a profile as a "friend" doesn't mean you know someone but rather that you approve of something in their profile. So MySpace has been a great place for rock bands to establish fan connections, and I would expect most TV programs would eventually want a site. It's a good way for the program to demonstrate its support and the fans can connect with each other.
Fake profiles are so common on social networking sites that hardly anyone objects, but the creativity and satisfaction of solving the mystery better be a fun pay-off, or fans may feel ripped off.
News Corp.'s Fox is using heavily trafficked MySpace.com to promote new comedy "Free Ride"--a possible preview of how it will use the online force to plug new venture My Network TV. Over a month ago, Fox seeded MySpace, a social networking site, with "profile" pages for "Free Ride" characters "Nate" and "Dove." At first, stealth marketing was used. The profiles bore no mention of the show.... viral marketers then worked to get people to visit them, interact, and hopefully return.
Now...Fox has created a special MySpace page devoted to "Free Ride" accessible through a link on the MySpace home page. That site includes a video trailer, MySpace pages for all nine show characters, and the opportunity for MySpace users to link their profiles to the site, becoming "friends" of the show.