Good things take time. After years of anticipation, The Golden Bachelor debuts on ABC this Thursday when audiences will join charming 72-year-old patriarch Gerry Turner on his journey to find love again.
A retired restaurateur and doting father and grandfather, Gerry lives in his dream house on a beautiful lake in Indiana. He’s often busy hosting barbecues, playing pickleball, cheering on his favorite Chicago sports teams, four-wheeling, and spending time with friends and family at restaurants and local haunts. Always a romantic, Gerry married his high school sweetheart, Toni, in 1974. Together, they lived a full and happy life with their two daughters, Angie and Jenny, and later two granddaughters, Charlee and Payton. Sadly, after 43 years together, Toni suddenly fell ill and passed away in 2017.
Six years after Toni’s passing and with the support of his family, Gerry is ready to put himself out there and find a love that will stand the test of time in his golden years.
Though part of the storied Bachelor franchise, The Golden Bachelor is a new kind of love story rarely depicted in media, generating a fervent level of buzz before it has even premiered. Building on the cultural conversation, striking the right tone, attracting the existing fan base and drawing in a new audience is no easy feat, so we sat down with Erin Weir, EVP of Marketing for ABC and Disney Entertainment Television, to learn more.
Behind every great marketing campaign is a strategy with cohesive positioning and messaging. Can you describe the macro-level creative approach to this campaign?
The Golden Bachelor is showing us a love story that hasn’t been widely told—and the time is right to change that. We’ve designed a campaign that is tonally heartfelt, optimistic and full of hope. It’s never too late to fall in love… again. In our audience approach, we’re of course saturating our beloved Bachelor Nation but also connecting with a mass broad audience—who are lapsed or completely new to the franchise.
What are the most important messages you want to get across, and are there any tropes or stereotypes you are looking to avoid?
When launching a big priority, we often talk about “event-izing.” A smart member of our team coined the term “communit-izing,” and it’s been a rallying cry for our team on this campaign. We want the campaign to be pervasive but most importantly connected to our viewers. We want people to be invested in Gerry, to support him and come together to have a shared experience as his journey unfolds. There is a warmth and relatability to this show that is resonating with viewers.
How do you want audiences to feel when interacting with the marketing creative for The Golden Bachelor?
As soon as we announced the show, we felt the outpouring of positivity and curiosity from viewers. And we’ve made a moment out of each announcement. First, we revealed Gerry as our Golden Bachelor and that announcement was the most successful announcement of a Bachelor ever with nearly 300 million combined impressions across social platforms and press. And, of course, once Gerry was announced, the next question was who are the women? And the answer to that is a stunning, impressive group of women that we introduced in a long-form video so that we could hear their stories directly from them. That cast reveal reached over 36 million social media views in under a week.
Speaking of the Bachelor franchise, what do you think is the central thread across all the shows that has built such a fervent Bachelor Nation fanbase? And how do you tap into that for the marketing campaigns?
The Bachelor franchise is the unrivaled gold standard when it comes to dating shows, and Bachelor Nation is made up of some of the most passionate and engaged fans across any franchise. We’re bringing them along on this new journey through dedicated engagement and retargeting tactics.
What makes this campaign different from others?
It’s a very special show. And it’s no surprise that fans are as invested in Gerry as we are. Let the golden journey begin!