Alas, we have another dimension of changing consumer behavior throwing a wrench at yet another (time-tested) dimension of consumer behavior. Lately I've taken fancy in watching certain TV shows in conjunction with my Twitter and Facebook activity. Ups the entertainment value. If a plot twist grabs you, you put your thoughts out there -- however risky! And others, of course, do likewise...often in huge quantities. My colleague and CEO, John Burbank, wrote about this in a recent post entitled "Could Social Networking Bolster the 30-Second spot", the logic being that so called "telecommunities" (powered of late by microblogging) are heightening consumer attention around real-time TV programming and advertising. Writes Burbank:
While there is still a lot to learn about the interaction of social networking and TV, it’s clear that there is opportunity for programmers and advertisers to leverage telecommunities to drive audience participation with both the programs and the advertising. And it doesn’t have to be just live programming such as awards shows and sporting events. Any show with a deeply loyal fan base could drive live viewing and deeper engagement through these telecommunities
Big idea -- and much needed conversation -- but with every opportunity comes new complexity. Late last night, after Tweeting a key takeaway about key lessons from Dennis Rodman's failure to deliver on even basic customer service principles on the Apprentice (a comment that immediately got sucked into my Facebook page), I noticed a Facebook comment from my Nielsen colleague, Charlie Buchwalter, who piled on to my comment "Hey...I'm on the west coast. Don't give it away!"
Are you serious? Are you asking half the world to contain its "impulse to engage" to save the West Coast time slot? I'm just not sure that's going to work. Half the fun with TV these days might just be posting Tweets and status updates in real time. We're all going to have to take a step back and figure this one out. This is especially problematic for programming targeted to increasingly "wired" and "conversational" younger segments. Will we need to move "Prime time" to an early starting point on the west coast to keep up with what we might dub "Talk Time."