Reality TV as Advertising?

My Super Sweet 16 Who’d have thunk that MTV (VIA) could spawn a niche market? In last December’s issue of Entrepreneur magazine, there was an article entitled: “Party Planning for Teens“. It opened with:

Blame MTV’s My Super Sweet 16 for showing teens nationwide the extremes the super-wealthy go to for a child’s coming-of-age soiree. American teens, who number more than 70 million, want what’s hot at their parties–from bar and bat mitzvahs to sweet 16s, quinceaƱeras and other coming-of-age rites.

That got me thinking. If My Super Sweet 16 could start a new niche market, could similar reality TV shows also start (or jump-start) other markets? What if an advertiser created a reality TV show just to increase the demand for their product or service?

That could be a stupid idea. TV as an advertising medium is losing its luster. More and more kids are on the Internet. They don’t care about TV. Or do they?

Another Entrepreneur article, “Whip Up a Hot Kids’ Cooking Business“, cites a growing interest in cooking classes among today’s youth.

Americans’ interest in cooking has drizzled down to the nation’s kids. From cooking classes and kits to full-fledged cooking parties, this still-hot category even includes kids’ cookbooks in the recipe for success.

It doesn’t point to Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, or even the Food Network as influences. But it makes me wonder. Also: has American Idol increased the sales of karaoke machines or customers to karaoke bars?

Goodbye 30-second commercial spot, hello 60-minute TV show!

Don’t Believe Everything You See

I used to be a pre-press operator. I digitally touched-up photographs and artwork for a national magazine. This included preflighting, color correcting, retouching, positioning, and raster image processing.

Back then, doing all of this work required a Scitex machine, which costed about a quarter of a million dollars. Today, all of that can be done on a MacBook Pro.

But that’s not the scary part. The scary part was what I manipulated.

I airbrushed the wrinkles off of Oprah Winfrey’s face. And Hilliary Clinton’s face. I straightened out their hair, deepened their lipstick, and even shaved off a few pounds. All digitally.

Not scared? Okay, I understand. You never trusted magazine photos anyways, right? How about on TV?

Via: MediaBlog