Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Celebrity Apprentice Observations

Ok, I'm not a fan of most TV shows, especially the mass market crap that gets spewed out Prime Time on the main channels. However, I found myself watching Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice the other night and caught some really interesting business techniques and strategies that the show employs. Nothing earth shattering, but still worth noting:

*The show uses big name star power of high profile celebrities to draw a diverse audience to the show.
*... partners with Universal Orlando to promote the new Harry Potter Ride - Product placement is nothing new but by virtue of the exercise the team had, the show was practically an infomercial for the experience and Harry Potter.
*...had a "This week's Kodak moment" with three scenes where viewers could vote on. - This was the first interactive user element to the show that I noticed. It's also the second most obvious partnership plug in the show.
*Throughout the show there are various teasers to visit the show's web site to see deleted scenes, commentary, etc. - This drives: additional viewer interaction, measurable results, additional traffic on the site for advertising, etc.

In general there was a strong interplay between the show, its content (entertainment and sponsored), web and customer interaction.

The last stroke of strong business practice I noticed was an Aflac commercial. Although I failed to remember the product afterward (good thing I DVRd it) Aflac asked viewers to submit a 10 second video that defines the company. Genius! By doing this you: engage your customers at a high level, customer stories and testimonials are more powerful than the company giving a message, and it taps into the collective creativity of the general public. Love it!!

Finally, in some form or another, all of these observations can be applicable to your business. The "celebrity" you use as a draw may not be Bret Michaels but maybe a local figure from a school or news program. And the examples of engaging your customers are sound and sage for all businesses. Good luck and I'll see you in the marketplace.

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