Friday, September 10, 2010

I am Not the STIG

So here is my theory on STIG -gate.

Top Gear is a great show, loads of viewers and has a very strong brand, here in the UK and around the world.
It has however come under a lot of flack from people saying its just 3 grown men acting like teenagers in cars (I think this is the whole idea, but anyway) and a lot of people saying it's boring and past it.
In some ways I agree about it being same story different packaging each season, but like any good brand if it works, why would you change it (think Coke and Coke Classic from the 80's).

The STIG is a media icon, a silly name (its means 'path' I think in Swedish) but another globally recognised brand, possibly a longer lasting brand if the TG show was axed you could quite easily see this character popping up in different show formats?

Theory (Okay I might be a little cynical):
If I was the BBC or whoever produces the TG show and I needed to guarantee some ratings, how would I best do this?
- Fire a presenter? dangerous, they might write a book or start their own show (ah most of them have anyway) and finding a replacement would be tough.
- Change the format? not worth the risk and cost
- Kill the STIG? They have done this on a few occasions, and he magically appears again even more powerful then before -
-Piss the man in the white suit off enough to force him to try and make some cash (or even tell him to reveal himself) a different way.

So the Stig has been unmasked, now they have a gap to fill, what will they do with all of this 'press' coverage?
My guess is the Stig will magically reappear and be as elusive and 'exotic' as ever before and we will still not know who is the Stig again, it could be anyone or it could be Ben Collins, who knows and to be honest anyone who watches the show probably wont care.
The fact there is a mystery person inside the suit is all that anyone really cares about, we know this person has changed before in the past, there are loads of YouTube footage of the different Stig's tall, short, tanned
The other 3 presenters have all made a bomb out of the show, the Stig was on £70k a year and I am pretty sure was not in on the merchandising payroll. So why not try and get a few quid (I heard £230k banded around for the book deal) out of what could''ve been the last year for the Stig anyway, if the show is cancelled then what really?

I was amazed that once the court injunction went through and he was seen without his white helmet, the 3 presenters were all doing the media rounds saying how disappointed they were, Clarkson said he had the stig around for dinner and felt betrayed (a little Clarkson humor me thinks).
Noramlly to get these guys involved in anything takes a lot of pressure from the BBC etc, but they were amazingly free to take questions....

So to the man/lady behind the unveiling should get a pat on the back, they have created a media frenzy over something that in the real world (outside of TV) is not very exciting.
But has guaranteed the viewing figures for the first TG next season will be through the roof and that Ben Collins book will be on the top of every TG viewers Christmas list.

I will be watching the first show and probably will get the book if I ask Santa nicely (wonder who he really is?)

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