Just yesterday, I was analyzing an opportunity to use Twitter as a vehicle to garner buzz and awareness around the release of a consumer product. Twitter remains to be a social media buzz word that every now and again slips into the minds of hungry marketers who want to make a splash in the space.
The cultural importance of Twitter is clear and well established; I won’t even try to argue against that. What I do often find myself arguing about is the use of Twitter for brand campaigns. Say, for example, you want to execute a “Twitter Campaign” without having an already established, active following. Catchy hashtags won’t guarantee the measurable “followers” and “retweets” results. Without an expansive following audience waiting on your every tweet, it takes a lot more than just tweeting engaging content to make a Twitter campaign successful. Yes, there’s actually a trick to the Twitter trade.
Clever integration will do the trick…but integration into what? Have you been watching reality TV lately? That specific genre of entertainment owns the Twittersphere (okay, co-owns with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber). Almost every reality TV show on air incorporates social media elements directly into the viewing experience. Whether it’s a live feed of viewers hash tagging away with their commentary or contestants being eliminated based on # of tweeted votes, reality TV and social media have formed a unique sweet spot.
News broke today about the revival of one particular reality TV show, one of the first to be exact. MTV did it right over a decade ago with its Real World, Road Rules, Made series. Real World, being MTV’s longest running show, just greenlit it’s 28th season (the first season aired in 1992). Made, however, wasn’t such a lucky production. But MTV is known for successfully doing almost the impossible; MTV is known for someone getting millions of viewers to watch shows most would naturally think are mind rotting.
MTV is taking the formerly culturally insignificant and failed show, Made, and turning it into the next fresh, must-tune-in reality TV show. How? First step: realize who the audience is and what they like. Gen Y (aka The Millennials); Facebook, Twitter. Second step: Cater to their likes. Engage them while they watch TV while simultaneously be online. Of course, Gen Y is way more ambitious than our elders believe us to be. So MTV has found a way to reinvigorate an old production with social engagement and refocus its premise towards our generation’s achievement of greatness. These young adults will strive to achieve more than just head cheerleader or prom king status. The new Made, titled MADE #DreamBigger, will follow the path of young adults striving to make it in the REAL WORLD (like my tie-in?). It will be about the day-to-day difficulties recent grads face trying to find a job after taking out loans to “earn” an education. It will be about what it’s really like to be a journalist in NYC (Carrie from Sex and the City, there is just NO way…). MADE #DreamBigger will be about bigger, more important, more relevant things in life. From what I’ve heard about the production line-up, it is sure to really connect with Gen Y viewers, both on a personal level and on a social “personal” level.
Check out the sneak peek videos on MTV now and let me know what you think! Will the Twitter tie-in make this show fly or fall?