How The Caped Crusader Kept Them Tuned In

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Holy cliffhanger, Batman!

It was on this day in 1966 that the Caped Crusader and his sidekick, Robin, debuted on ABC television with an episode — called “Hi Diddle Riddle.” The episode ended like this:

This was all the Riddler’s fault. His henchman slipped a mickey in Batman’s orange juice at the “What a Way to Go-Go” discothèque. Riddler’s assistant, Molly, asked Batman to dance. And while he did the “Batsui” on the dance floor with Molly, the drugs kicked in, and Batman passed out.

Batman does the “Batsui,” moments before the drugs kick in. Riddler’s henchman (in green) looks on.

Meanwhile, Riddler nailed Robin with a stun gun and took the Boy Wonder back to his secret lair.

Batman woke from his stupor and stumbled to the Batmobile. But a diligent Gotham City Police officer, said, “Hand me the key, Batman. I’m afraid you’re in no condition to drive.”

So the Riddler got away.

Then came the cliffhanger.

Funny thing about those Batman cliffhangers. They were an accident.

Batman’s creators intended this to be a one-hour show. ABC scheduled Batman to premiere in late 1966, but the network moved the premiere date to January — when it didn’t have any hourlong slots available. So they split the show in two — part one on Wednesdays and part two on Thursdays.

And so began the first primetime American television series with regular cliffhangers.

Never mind how and why the cliffhangers happened. Just soak in the bat-tastic business lesson here…

Create cliffhangers in your content to keep your followers tuned in.

This works best when you create a consistent flow of content (recommended) — versus weekly or monthly emails. It works on social, too.

Leave ’em hanging. Hint at something coming, but don’t reveal it all. Mention something you’ll share down the road. Something like this…

Next week, I’ll send you an email with Batman Rules — a set of valuable business lessons drawn from my favorite television series. The cliffhangers thing is one of many. Stay tuned for more next week.

Until then, have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

One last thing: If you want to know how things turned out for Batman and Robin (and Riddler and Molly), let me know. I’ll give you the scoop.

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.