New York’s PBS station Thirteen is starting a new advertising campaign aimed at contrasting their educational programming with the proliferation of cheap, exploitative reality television. The series of posters, which will begin appearing in the New York subway this week, promote fake reality shows like Bad Bad Bagboys and Knitting Wars (Tagline: “It’s sew on”), with a snarky kicker: “The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV.”
On the one hand, it’s some sneakily intelligent advertising for a network system that desperately needs the support in the face of increasingly outlandish reality television on obscure cable channels. However, CHI & Partners, the agency that developed this campaign, may have done too good of a job coming up with amazingly terrible reality options. Seriously, who wouldn’t watch at least the beginning of Bayou Eskimos, just to see what it was like? Perhaps PBS could counterprogram all of its Masterpiece Theatre selections with some of The Dillionaire to bring in more viewers. See all the posters over at Entertainment Weekly.