Using Your Own Words Against You
Publicists are always on the lookout for THAT quote. You know the one I am talking about. It usually accompanies a five star review and proclaims that this movie, exhibition, band, theatre show or television show is the best thing to ever happen to the entertainment industry. But some recent advances in television show promotion suggests that publicists may be looking in the wrong place.
Entertainment mediums have long been turning to big news media sources for that quote which will emblazon all marketing posters, adverts and flyers. ‘The best thing to happen to television since FRIENDS’. ‘The most moving show ever to grace a Broadway stage’. ‘The best sound since The Beatles’. But while news sources such as The Times, Rolling Stone magazine or The New York Times add a lot of gravitas to a quote, times are changing and potential consumers are finding more reliable places to gather their intel on new entertainment, places where they can hear from people just like them and receive personal recommendations.
And the answer is social media.
Social media is the ultimate level of vetted information (leaving advertisements and promoted posts out of the equation). Users make the decision to follow people who have similar interests to them and are therefore shown a range of opinions which will most likely match their own. When it comes to entertainment recommendations, this is a much more reliable source because you have a better understanding of the writer, you can probe these individuals for more information and they are more persuasive because they are personal recommendations.
Television has picked up on this and is now turning away from the traditional news media sources for their reviews in favour for social media. Channel Nine is leading the charge through shows such as House Husbands and The Voice by using social media comments to persuade viewers during previews for next week’s episode. Rather than touting an endorsement from The Age or The Herald Sun, they are now calling up tweets and status updates from their fans which tout the show as the best thing to happen to their small screens.
Not only do these sources of promotion increase effectiveness by closely mimicking a personal recommendation (even though viewers haven’t met this commenting person), they also provide an extra benefit. They get fans actively communicating about the show on Facebook or Twitter in the hope that their comment will be used. I’m not going to lie, after watching House Husbands last week and seeing these fans’ comments used, I was certainly given an incentive to write about the great episode I had just watched.
And this extra bit of promotion may be just the push a viewer’s friend needs to give the show a go!