Attention-grabbers used in LG15
Over the years, many techniques have been utilized in an attempt to draw attention to LG15 shows, as well as increase views for singular videos.
The Thumbnail Trick
The "thumbnail trick" is used to draw more attention to videos posted on YouTube. Videos on this site are represented by their title and an accompanying thumbnail picture, which is drawn from the midpoint of the video. The Creators realized that having interesting thumbnail pictures helped their videos get more views, so they began to insert a picture into the middle of each video, in this way getting control of the thumbnail that represented it. The thumbnail picture chosen often has the LG15 logo on it, and occasionally is a picture from a different video altogether.
The first instance of the thumbnail trick was in "The Unthinkable Happened", which included a still from the early video "My Difficult Decision". This "test run" was part of new efforts by the Creators to devise new ways of attracting viewers. This trick is used only for videos posted first on YouTube. It has also not been utilized in any series other than lonelygirl15.
The thumbnail trick does not come without its drawbacks. Since the trick requires the insertion of a still picture into the video, that picture does momentarily appear on screen. Though it is very brief, its appearance is noticed by many viewers and detracts from the overall quality of the presentation. However, the trick serves its purpose: to draw in more viewers, to reinforce the LG15 brand, and to attract more hits to the lonelygirl15.com website.
Another strategy that surfaced from the initial efforts to raise view counts was the posting of all videos to Bree's account, regardless of who the blogger was. This change was implemented because videos on Bree's account always got many more views than those on other accounts. This strategy continued when KateModern videos were posted to YouTube, likely for simplification purposes.
Since the 2008 redesign of the lg15.com website, central accounts have only been used for recap videos or trailers. Newer series have continued the central account trend, though.
Many videos feature adult content, which may drive views, and may also be used to provide a more "edgy" or realistic view to the videos. For this reason, videos could be considered "PG-13", and should be treated as such.
Sexual themes have become more prevalent as characters mature and their relationships become more complex. Many speculate that it is to drive viewership, though it has never been proven. This brings to mind the old adage, "Sex sells.", a well known and proven maxim of marketing. As the sex drive is one of the strongest motivating factors, it is something that all of us relate to on a primal level. With this in mind, it is realistic that a story about the lives of young adults would show some influence of sex upon them, as any observation of young adults in the real world would yield.
Use of Sexual Themes include:
- Suggestive episode titles
- Partial nudity or cleavage, especially as thumbnails
- Suggestive dialogue.
Regardless of the nature behind these sexual references, they have indeed driven viewership on a number of occasions. The most noticeable of these is "Girl Tied Up", which, with both a suggestive title and thumbnail, quickly became the most watched video ever.
Violence and Crimes
Although early lonelygirl15 videos were devoid of actual gun violence, or even much violence at all, with the shooting of Bree's dad in "The Unthinkable Happened" (Dec. 31, 2006), things got a lot more serious and dangerous in the LG15 Universe. Guns have been used in videos for protection, stalking of characters, or as threats to hostages. Other types of violence that have been featured in videos include hand fights, torture, threats of sexual violence, and the use of vehicles as a weapon.
In all LG15 shows, it should also be noted that several characters have a somewhat callous disregard for the law. Committing crimes is not necessarily wise, but posting them on the Internet in video form cries sheer stupidity. Various crimes that have committed include theft, breaking and entering, homicide, kidnapping, evading arrest, and underage drinking. For a complete crime report, see Crime Report.
Four-letter words are words often used to express anger and frustration, which generally are not allowed on television. Before it was known that lonelygirl15 was fictional, some fans were surprised by the use of four-letter words, and suggested that this was a clue that viral marketers were not behind the project. Their use has become prevalent in every series, and is occasionally used as an example of what sets the series apart from those found on traditional networks.
YouTube uses keywords called "tags" to assist in categorizing its videos. Often times these tags are used to draw attention to the video itself.
For instances for unusual tags used in videos, see strange tags.