The report analyses the case study (The tribe has spoken: networks, marketers and viewers still love reality TV) on reality television shows. It identifies that the popularity of these shows among networks and marketers are due to monetary opportunities and brand awareness. These shows have psychological, social, cultural and personal effects on consumer behaviour has they learn and relate to the contestants situations and problems. This behaviour affects trends and patterns in retail buying power and the right viewers exercise in showing reaction has they are empowered to participate in the shows. It also puts forward the cultural, political and social factors as reality TV concepts are not readily adaptable and require modification. After immense success of these shows, viewer’s arte contended as its entertaining even when it lacks realism. Finally it concludes that these shows are more interested in profit making than entertaining viewers. The report also recommends for media to accept responsible journalism and focus on ethics and moral to target social problems.
TABLE OF CONTENT
2.Factors attributing to the popularity of Reality shows with networks & marketers5 2.1Networks5
3.Internal and External Characteristics6
The report analyses the case study on reality television shows titled “The tribe has spoken: networks, marketers and viewers still love reality TV” (Charbonneau, 2006) and examines the following: •Factors that attribute to the popularity of reality television shows with television networks and marketers. •The internal characteristics (psychological and personal) and external characteristics (cultural and social) that influence consumer behaviour in this context the viewers. • The factors to be taken into consideration especially cultural when reality television formula is exported to various countries globally. •The realism in reality television and if it changes or influences the popularity of these shows.
2.Factors attributing to the popularity of Reality shows with networks & marketers 2.1Monetizing Opportunity and increase Brand Awareness
Reality television programs popularity with networks, resulting in increasing proportion of television programming (Charbonneau 2006) is mainly driven by monetizing opportunities. Television networks corporate ownership business orientation of reaping large profits prioritise reality shows being broadcasted. Advertising slots on reality television shows are where these networks make their money (Charbonneau 2006). The advertisement rate figures published in Forbes.com backs the strategy employed by the networks. Show Network Avg. Cost/30 Second Spot Network Profit
American Idol FOX $414,700 $260.7 million
Survivor: Pearl Island CBS $327,000 $73.1 million
The Apprentice NBC $287,300 $53.945 million
The Bachelor: Jessie Palmer ABC $231,500 $38.2 million
The Bachelorette ABC $178,000 $27.7 million
Table 1: Advertisement rates for 30 second slot on American television networks (Patsuris 2004) In turn of generating profits which boosts their balance sheets, networks do not mind the fact on paying high licensing fees. The cost of producing reality shows is still relatively compared to prime-time scripted drama programs (Charbonneau 2006). As much as television networks are prepared to pay high licensing fees, marketers are willing to pay high advertising rates for 30 second slots for the same factor that drives profits and increase brand awareness for these companies. Marketers have utilised the reality shows as a marketing platform that is sure not to fail. It has become a product placement haven (Charbonneau 2006).Viewers rating shows that millions of people who fall under the age group of 18-34 tune into these reality shows (Charbonneau 2006). These demographic of 18-34 are also the biggest purchases of goods and services (Bnet 2001). Apart from advertising during commercial slots, marketers also advertise in the reality programs. From the cereals they eat to the furniture they sit on, the cars that are driven to the toothpaste that been marketed in apprentice are all mass marketing by companies (Bnet 2001). The 18-34 demographic group are in constant influence in the spending trends which show patterns to increase sales in the products (Bnet 2001). From analysis (Charbonneau 2006) all the biggest reality series have achieved their spectacular popularity by replicating Survivor’s strategy of multiplatform media attention, product integration, and public relations. 3.Internal and External Characteristics
3.1 Internal Characteristic – Personal
Reality Television shows are popular among viewers because they are unpredictable. The capacity that these shows keep viewers intrigued in guessing what happens next is one of the main reasons. Younger viewers watch it for the conflicts among contestants and older viewers watch it for the strategies plotted by the contestant (Charbonneau 2006). It’s personal liking of suspense entertainment.
3.2 Internal characteristic – Psychological
Reality TV is an ideal provider of raw human emotion in a realistic form (that is, the emotional relief coupled with the self-assurance of being safely separated from the trials and tribulations). Viewers identify with psychologists social comparison theory (Charbonneau 2006) because reality television shows allow comparing their abilities and opinions with the contestants. Usually by the following; •Upward comparison where viewers seek self-improvement by choosing their favourite contestant as their role model to teach, motivate to achieve, imitating productive behaviour to achieve and by learning from their role models behaviour (Festinger, 1954). •Downward comparison where viewers have defensive tendency to evaluate oneself with a comparison group whose troubles are more serious than one's own in relation to contestants who are voted off the show (Festinger, 1954). 3.3 External Characteristic – Social & Cultural
Reality shows identify with John Fiske (1987) by holding that people are readers, reactors, and re-interpreters who bring their individual social residual factors to the television screen. That these shows have both positive and negative social effects on the society. Good influences like medium helps to campaign messages, such has to quit smoking, lead healthy lifestyle, charity campaigns for fund raising. To uphold moral behaviour in society. However the negative influences like violence, unethical values, and voyeurism can affect viewers as well. These characteristics affect consumer behaviour in trends and patterns of buying power and product preference if viewers do not identify with the content of the reality show. On top of this viewers now are empowered to participate in these shows, thus they show immediate reaction by voting the contestant of and on these programs. 4.Cultural Factors