Learning at least a few new things each day is a good thing. One of the many things the special women in my life (wife and daughter) taught me today is the meaning of the apparently ubiquitous acronym BFFL: “Best Friends for Life.” So, the special men in my life learned something along with me today. I’m not sure what that says about me and my boys?

Anyway, this acronym got me thinking about all the billboard advertising promoting Friends reruns I have encountered over the last several months. It’s everywhere. What has struck me about this advertising (besides the sheer volume) is how different it is from the advertising that used to run while the television series was still being filmed and before the syndication of Friends, at least, as I recall. The website for KSTC-TV Channel 45 (based in the Twin Cities) depicts the kind of promotional photograph I recall seeing reguarly while the series was running and pre-syndication:

All six Friends cast members were promoted together as a united group or ensemble of, well, friends, apparently subscribing to the belief that the whole (the program) was greater than the sum of its parts (the cast members). This marketing approach (apparently required by Warner Brothers in the early days of the program) also was consistent with and reminiscent of the solidarity the Friends cast demonstrated during their multiple contract re-negotiations with NBC and Warner Brothers over the years. It is reported that each of the six received $1 Million per episode during the last two seasons, despite the likelihood that each of their relative values most likely was not commercially equivalent.


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