NEW YORK – Martha Stewart (search) used to be perfect. Not any more.
A headline-making trial and a high-profile stay in federal prison ended her reputation for doing no wrong — and that's the idea behind a new ad campaign to promote her live, daily syndicated show, "Martha."
In one TV ad that began airing recently, Martha is seen nearly getting thrown to the ground by a runaway cow.
In another, she is seen dropping a basketball-sized, blown-glass vase on the floor, where it smashes into a thousand pieces. In the background, Martha is heard asking the glassblower in a strained voice: "Is that bad?"
"Our goal was to show that Martha is, in many ways, just like everybody else in that she likes to try new things and things don't always go right all the time," "Martha" co-executive producer Rob Dauber says.
Stewart's new show is live, Dauber says, so "things aren't always going to be perfect. That's what we're trying to get across about this new show and how it will be different from her past show."
Actually, the video clips in the promos are outtakes from her old TV show, "Martha Stewart Living (search)."
While the message may have been that "anything can happen" on live TV, the promos are also effectively about Martha herself and the patch of bumpy road her life has just gone over.
The icy demeanor and air of perfection that once surrounded the domestic diva just won't fly anymore. To succeed now, she will have to show that she can make mistakes and even look foolish — just like everyone else.
It is a risky strategy, given that Martha's appeal has always been as someone with impossibly high standards.
After all, she is now showing the fumbling moments that were cut out of her shows before her legal troubles.
The idea to run bloopers as promos came from a meeting between Stewart and reality TV king Mark Burnett (search), who is also an executive producer on "Martha" and oversees her new prime-time edition of "The Apprentice."
"One of the first things that Mark did when he got involved with Martha was watch her appearances on other people's shows as well as ask for some of the outtakes from her old show," says Dauber. "At that time, he realized how much fun she had on other people's shows and how funny her outtakes were."
Dauber says that Stewart is even considering a show which will feature the runaway cow from the promo as a guest.
"In the time that I've worked with Martha, since she's come home from Alderson [Prison], I have seen a person with a definite sense of humor, a practical joker who enjoys the process of figuring out shows, segments and fun audiences," says Dauber.