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  /  Blog   /  25 years of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.: Could it BE more legendary?

25 years of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.: Could it BE more legendary?

 

Himali Singh

It was like a wish had come true, a new girl, drenched and panicked, stormed into the coffee house and hence it all began. Monica found a roommate, Ross grabbed a spoon, Phoebe sang her first song, Joey flirted for the first time, Chandler, well, he was his sarcastic self and Rachel found FRIENDS. 

 

It has been 25 years since the first episode aired on NBC and boy have they been there for us. FRIENDS has been passed on from one generation to the next one and the laughter around it has only grown. It has been the guiding Bible for the stuck-figuring life-adulting aka in their 20’s. 

The six characters, all unique yet relatable, drew a mirror of reality. As Monica told Rachel, “Welcome to the real world. It sucks, you are going to love it.”

FRIENDS was like The Breakfast Club, it had a Brain, an Athlete/Actor, a Basketcase, a Princess, minus the Criminal which they completely made up for with the man of all jokes and a woman with all compassion. Together, it was a group that talked about everyday issues, debated evolution, fought over who knew better and bet the house, stood by each other when one dated their ex-boyfriend’s son, married a lesbian, left a man at the altar, married an ice gay dancer, threw a girl’s leg in the fire or lived in a box. A group, everyone associated themselves with.

I once told my best friend that she was the Rachel to my Monica and later told her that she was also the Joey to my Chandler. How easy was it to express what great deal she meant to me in just five words also how easy to just relate? Within ten seasons, FRIENDS became a way of life, FRIENDS became a Brand.

Friends had the best mix of Marketing.

Product An ultimate product just as desired by the consumers touching their senses and riveting them emotionally
Placement The title is one of the first factors that aided in product placement. FRIENDS was aimed at the youth, the people in their 20s, the Friends
Promotion The pilot aired between Mad About You and Seinfeld, and was watched by almost 22 million American viewers. Availability on NBC, peak time, repeat episodes on Comedy Central, HBO, Netflix.
Price Netflix made a valiant effort to keep the show, spending $80 to $100 million to keep the series for 2019. However, Netflix lost Friends in a bidding war with WarnerMedia, which agreed to pay $85 million per year for five years for the show.

It was a paradise for brands with opportunities galore for them to promote to the widest audience. Those which chanced upon them are –

As a brand Friends remained relevant for their entire tenure and none of the seasons or episodes was one which could be given a miss. They were able to do so by touching the right chords of the then American society and present day sentiments. There was a strong yet subtle message for –

From Rachel’s haircuts to Joey’s “How you doin’?” FRIENDS has set a trend which has been very difficult for other brands to match. It has a bigger market than Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. FRIENDS has had the most popular stars of the time as guests including Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon and Billy Crystal.

Cultural impact
  1. Although the producers thought of Friends as “only a TV show”, numerous psychologists investigated the cultural impact of Friends during the series’ run.
  2. Aniston’s hairstyle was nicknamed “The Rachel” and copied around the world.
  3. Joey Tribbiani’s catchphrase “How you doin’?” has become a popular part of Western English slang, often used as a pick-up line or when greeting friends.
  4. Friends have been given references to in hundreds of TV Shows, films, ads, books all over the world. The phrase “Ross and Rachel” has appeared as a joke in Scrubs, One Tree Hill, Skins.
  5. One of the principal settings of the series, the Central Perk coffee house has inspired various imitations worldwide. In 2006 Iranian businessman Mojtaba Asadian started a “Central Perk” franchise, registering the name in 32 countries.
  6. Many fans have attempted to recreate the look of the “Friends” apartments.
  7. Many companies now sell replicas of props appearing on the sets of Friends. One such example is www.friendsposter.com, which features Monica’s famous peephole frame, and many posters that are featured in both Monica and Joey and Chandler’s apartments.
Merchandise
  1. The 40-disc Friends – The Complete Series Collection DVD box set was released in .
  2. A wide range of Friends merchandise has been produced by various companies. All ten seasons have been released on DVD individually and as a box set.
  3. In late September 1995, WEA Records released the Friends Original TV Soundtrack, containing music featured in previous and future episodes.
  4. The soundtrack debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 46, and sold 500,000 copies in November 1995.
  5. In 1999, a second soundtrack album entitled Friends Again was released.
  6. Friends version of the DVD game “Scene It?”, and a quiz computer game, entitled “Friends: The One with All the Trivia”, “hosted” by James Michael Tyler, Christina Pickles, Elliott Gould and Maggie Wheeler as their respective characters from the series.
  7. In 2005, the WB made a limited edition box called “The One With All Ten Seasons” to fit all individual ten seasons in. The collection was cased in wood with black covering and a plastic door with all of the Friends pictured on it.

September 22, 1994, six people sat around a coffee table, telling stories of how no one told them that life was going to be that way. Ten years later, they went back to sit around the same coffee table but we were left to stare at the yellow frame on the purple door.

 

While I cry, here are some of my favourite moods from FRIENDS:

 

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