My Kitchen Rules has, not coincidentally, been thumping the Block in terms of twitter buzz as well as ratings. BuzzNumbers analysis shows that while the Block has been getting a steady thousand or two tweets every evening, MKR is going from strength to strength, building on a strong Sunday night elimination episode to more than double its buzz on Monday.
There’s plenty of reasons that have been put forward for MKR’s success on social media, including the state vs state format and clearly defined team personality types that provides plenty of reasons for picking sides, the big moment format several times a night as scores are awarded and at a more basic level the increasing interest in food and cooking that has built over the last ten years in Australia as the obsession with all matters real estate and renovation went past its peak.
But are the sponsors of MKR making all that they possibly could out of free to air television’s latest sensation? Are some of them still just thinking about the huge numbers of bums on seats watching their ad or product placement, when they should be thinking how easy it is to get a big proportion of those bums on seats interacting with their brand through the brilliantly designed symbiotic relationship that is MKR plus Social?
While static social campaigns like giveaways, themes and memes run during the program are fine, the best kind of campaign would of course be a flexible and story driven one, responding to the big moments in the show to create a storyline for the brand within the drama of the program.
This kind of campaign obviously takes a lot of planning along with quick thinking and flexibility, but considering the sponsor budgets associated with a program this successful, it’s wasting money not to make the most of this engagement. Never before have marketers been able to segment a show’s audience in real time by their level of engagement and the best marketers will be making the most of that to produce immediate returns for their brand.
Meanwhile, the Block and its sponsors need to be putting their thinking caps on to quickly build some new angles into the show that might stem the tide of chopped chicken and bitchy backhanders that is currently drowning them. They need to build more drama points and some quicker payback for the viewer/tweeter to get excited about every night, and preferably several times a night.
For anyone sponsoring any FTA reality format in the future, having a social media strategy prepared well in advance, and having the skills and flexibility to adapt it to the storyline of the product will be essential.