The success of ABC’s television shows such as “Scandal” and “How To Get Away with Murder” drives primetime television creators to produce “must-tweet” television and step up their marketing. When either of these hit shows are aired, the number of television watchers sky-rocket. It becomes time for viewers to join their fellow Scandal-obsessed friends, grab their snacks and of course, their phones, tablets or laptops! What’s even more exciting than the actual program is the social media frenzy that occurs in the midst of it all. Scandal, in it’s fourth season, and newly featured “How to Get Away with Murder”, have already topped the social media charts, sparked countless trending topics and created multiple “meme-worthy” moments. Take a look at how Shonda Rhimes’ popular shows have generated so much success, become social media smashes and have become trail blazers in marketing for primetime television shows to come.
Live Tweeting From Behind The Scenes
According to the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), a recent study shows that having stars and producers live-tweet during episodes makes a difference in ratings. A major aspect of the social media interaction is the cast members’ use of their own Twitter and Instagram accounts to post and tweet behind-the scene photos and potential plot twists. They are especially active on Thursday night for #TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) when all three of Rhimes’ shows air (she’s also responsible for Grey’s Anatomy). The cast is known for responding, re-tweeting and cracking jokes with their tuned-in followers. Check out the hashtags #ScandalABC, #TGIT, #HTGAWM and #HolyFitz and you’ll witness tons of tweeters sharing their personal viewing experiences and engaging in discussions that go beyond just fictional television.
Tweets Drive Consumers To Action
Not only do ratings improve, the exposure to TV tweets drives consumers to take action. What do highly-rated shows like “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” do for brands? Well, in the case of Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Microsoft … wonders! Last year, Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s flagship store, incorporated a window-installation attributed to the iconic styles of star, Kerry Washington, and the popular fashion-forward characters of the show. “Olivia Pope’s” modern day women’s professional wear on “Scandal” constantly sparks buzz throughout social networks. Many of the brands featured include designers such as Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Carolina Herrera, all sold at Sak’s. The buzz around this partnership drove many of the “Scandal Lovers” to make purchases in hopes of looking like the beloved stars. As for Microsoft, if you’ve been watching closely you’ll notice that the gladiators of the show love their Surface Pro 3 and Microsoft tablets. Other brands have done a great job with product placement including Athleta and HTC Corporation, and watchers are noticing! Many viewers have tweeted their desire to purchase a product after seeing it in the hands of Washington, resulting in the company’ s increase in Google searches. Even more recently, a close-up shot of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling book, Gone Girl, was shown being read by Washington within minutes of the Season 4 premiere, which seemed to have a major impact on the Oct 2nd release.
Primetime television is no longer just about making good tv. In order to compete with heavy-hitters like Shonda Rhimes, thinking beyond the television screen is crucial. Incorporating a strong social media strategy into any program is the way to go. In addition to attracting big-spending brands and advertisers, it will increase the awareness and engagement of the show. The success of “Scandal” is a great example of what producers and marketers could and should be doing.
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