CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother is all about the fake Web sites. The show regularly buys domain names and creates sites for inside jokes like Robin Scherbatsky’s teen idol alter ego, Robin Sparkles, and Barney’s video resume.
And the sites have become popular viral marketing tools. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas tell the AP that the sites get hundreds of thousands of pageviews.
“We always underestimate how many people are going to tune it,” Bays says. “Every time we put a Web site up, routinely, it will crash within the first 15 minutes.”
And Bays and Thomas put a lot work into creating fake sites like tedmosbyisajerk.com and Robin Sparkles’ MySpace page.
The song was recorded in Bays’ garage with Amoia singing and ad-libbing. It’s a welcome outlet for Bays and Thomas, despite the added pressure of creating more content.
“The great thing about it is with our job, there’s always 22 minutes of TV time to fill,” says Bays. “With the Internet, it’s nice to write for a medium where there’s very little constraint other than the amount of time you have to work on it and the amount of money you have to spend on it.”
The Web sites may be low budget, but Bays and Thomas do have a dedicated Web guru, Carl MacLaren, working on them.
Together, they’ve made a MySpace fan page (http://www.myspace.com/robinsparkles) for pop singer Robin Sparkles, an alter ego of the show’s Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) who enjoyed brief fame for her ’80s hit “Let’s Go to the Mall.” A 3-minute music video has been viewed by more than 430,000 on YouTube.
There’s a site for Barney’s video resume (http://www.barneysvideoresume.com) and one for a Web address Robin casually mentions in an episode. Its subject can deciphered from the exceedingly long url: http://www.guyforceshiswifetodressinagarbagebagforthenextthreeyears.com.
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