The ‘One Tree Hill’ Gang

This past year, Wilmington was home to two exclusive One Tree Hill reunions, where the TV show once took place. Hundreds people came out to interact and reminisce with their favorite characters from the show. Commuters traveled from all over the nation and even overseas to Wilmington for the three-day event. Tickets started at $35 and increased up to $795 for a VIP experience. Fans who were willing to pay these high amounts obviously have a deep connection with the show or the characters.


However, this is not surprising. Cultivation theory tell us that high frequency viewers of television are more susceptible to media messages and the belief that they are real and valid. We can understand the One Tree Hill phenomena as it was one TV’s most popular shows for eight years. The viewers create a strong bond to the show and the actors that portray the characters.


Brands that cultivate a culture around their product and are able to build a lasting relationship with their consumers. The creators of One Tree Hill are able to continue the brand without producing a product. This benefits not only the show, but allows consumers to identify and participate with a culture that shares their common interests.

What other brands have cultivated their image to go beyond their product?

– Nick, Melanie, Mary & Patrick

6 thoughts on “The ‘One Tree Hill’ Gang

  1. I was able to relate to this article because I went through my phase of One Tree Hill and was ecstatic when I heard that they were coming to Wilmington. Although some TV shows, like One Tree Hill, can continue their brand without producing a product, movies can do the same as well. For example, the Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series are brands that go far and beyond.

  2. I loved the show One Tree Hill! I had no idea that the reunion tickets reached up to almost $800! That blows my mind. I understand how the cultivation theory would come into play there because some viewers’ bonds with the show were very extreme. I find it very interesting that One Tree Hill is still making money without even producing more episodes, what a strong brand.

  3. After reading this post I can completely understand what cultivation theory is. This show is a perfect example of that. I know so many people who would have paid those $800 for the tickets, due to the fact that they are so connected to the OTH characters. Its crazy to think that people can get so attached to a world and people who aren’t real.

  4. One Tree Hill has always been one of my favorite shows! The brand of OTH will be a lasting phenomenon for all its supporters.

  5. I find it insane that people would pay that much money for a VIP experience. I have never been into television shows like most people, but I can understand why they’d spend so much for a once in a life time experience. I think it can be very unhealthy to become attached to tv characters because sooner than later they will not be around anymore. I hope as life goes on people begin to understand the difference in TV and reality. Things can seem so amazing on shows, but in reality it does not work like that.

  6. I am currently employed at a hotel that hosted the first of these OTH reunions and was thankfully off the weekend of the second one. As a non viewer of the show it was actually unsettling to see how so many people were obsessive over this show, I saw patrons standing in line for two hours just for a 30 second meet and greet with Chad Michael Murray, and after that interaction breaking down into crying fits for the next hour. People came from as far as Australia and Iceland. The only show that I would probably pay this amount of money for a reunion would be Game of Thrones, thankfully that show is still on air. Although you can go take tours in Ireland to check out locations where the show was filmed. Shows like these do a great job of building characters and content that resonates with fans the world over.

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