Last week on "30 Rock" Tina Fey'scharacter decides to blame an imaginary character "Dale Snitterman" for everything, from gross food in the cafeteria to the pressing need to work until late at night. Fey sets herself up at the hero defending her staff against mean Dale Snitterman. It turns out that Snitterman is a real person, and he bears the undue wrath of Fey's staff.
Over the past week Dale Snitterman has started "friending" people on Facebookand asking for connections on LinkedIn. He's also has set up a Twitter profileand has been sending Tweets about the episode in which he was featured. It all fits with the character Fey created on the NBC show.
So is this a brilliant marketing move? NBC Universal Entertainment's press manager tells CNBC that Snitterman is a "completely fictional character." We knew that already. The question is whether NBC deserves credit for this viral web campaign. Apparently not, she says that the sites are "fan-made."
Americans love to hate the role Fey gives Snitterman of an oppressive boss character. A Facebook group "I blame Dale Snitterman!" has 83 members. Maybe NBC isn't officially responsible for these various profiles, but I bet it's one of the writers on the show.
Network TV should embrace this kind of random diversion — why not let invented characters in a fictional show take on a real life of their own?
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