By Kevin Smith
The brandmachine is big on the increasing trend of interactive and consumer participation in all things from co-design to interactive entertainment. So we were keen to learn more about a couple developments that further demonstrate consumers getting more say in marketing, product development and content creation.
First, ABC has been going hard in their promotional efforts around “Rising Star” which premiered this Sunday at 9 PM. The new reality talent show blends real-time voting and input from an interesting panel of judges. Industry observers feel the new concept can be a winner in an environment where other reality performance shows are getting lower ratings, and even the axe, which was the case recently with The X Factor, which Fox canceled after three seasons.
The Rising Star concept originated in Israel a couple years ago and is now one of the world’s hottest TV shows. The consumer insight behind Rising Star is that in a world geared to instant feedback, the more predictable and traditional delivery of shows like American Idol has played out to viewers who desire more engagement in content. Now, the shows’ producers believe it is crucial to engage viewers more intimately into the program. Indeed, one of Rising Stars producers that has been involved in over 300 American Idol episodes predicts the death of the traditional celebrity judged show without real-time viewer interaction.
So here’s how it works…Rising Star kept only 30 contestants out of over 2,500 original auditions. The program is hosted by Josh Grobin and will be judged by an eclectic panel featuring Ludacris, Brad Paisley and Kesha. Viewers download an app and are sent tune-in prompts while having the ability to download songs that appeal to them. The winner of the competition gets a Capital Records recording contract.
Early returns suggest the show has room to grow as the competition’s first episode was watched by 5.1 million viewers and achieved a 1.5 rating in the desired adult demo of 18-49. Billboard and others called out the show for a couple bugs with sub-par singer talent and a judging team that needs to establish chemistry. It also didn’t help that NBC slotted a new episode of America’s Got Talent in the same slot in attempts to blunt the launch of Rising Star. However, the concensus appears that the real time engagement aspect is a keeper. In other metrics, the app has been downloaded over 1 million times and the show led tweets of all broadcasts Sunday at nearly 150,000.
Quirky’s First TV Campaign
Crowdsourced invention company Quirky has picked up the megaphone with its first broadcast TV effort and it really seems to cut through the clutter. Quirky was established in 2009 and has gone on to develop over 300 products and a community of over 900.000 inventors. Quirky sells their inventions in an online shop or several retail stores like Home Depot and Best Buy with whom they’ve partnered.
The spot debuted on Saturday Night Live and really caught our eye with a break-through-the-clutter visual of a man strapped to the front of a bullet train. That man, it turns out, is the decidedly dispensable CEO of Quirky, Ben Kaufman, who tongue-in-cheek, really isn’t all that necessary since the community of Quirky really runs the operation with “real people people like you”.
VO: “This is Ben Kaufman, father of Quirky, AKA the world’s least important CEO which is precisely why we’ve tied him to this high-speed train. At Quirky, our products are invented by real people like people you who submit their ideas to our website…so whether our CEO makes it or not, Quirky will continue to invent incredible new things”.
Overall, with more developments like these, it’s interesting to see how technology continues to bring the empowered consumer across the red velvet rope in innovative ways. It’s a great time to be in the marketing and brandcom business.
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