Are Reality Shows Good Examples Of Marketing?

Do you remember, back at the beginning of the 2000s, when reality shows were just launching and were all the rage? I can’t think of anyone I know who didn’t watch at least something from The Apprentice to Big Brother, The X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing to name oh but a few. 

And yet, these days they seem to be a dying breed. Yes, they’re still there, but people seem to have grown tired of the format – even the judges have gone elsewhere. Recent news reports about the X Factor 2011 show that none of the previous judges will be appearing. 

So, are reality shows good examples of marketing? Let’s compare then and now. 

Back then, when the reality TV shows really kicked of in a big way, it was at a time when big Saturday night shows had gone by the wayside. Gone were the days when families used to gather round the box on Saturday night eagerly anticipating the latest game show etc. All the classic games shows had ended or were coming towards the end.

Producers of the big reality shows judged their audience just right and knew that there was a longing for new shows for the Saturday night audience. They knew their customer and they launched what people were looking for.

And they did something else really well too – they launched shows which appealed to the family. Whether you were young or old, there was something for everyone and it was a talking point. People could get behind it and discuss it on a night out. If you didn’t watch that particular show, it was almost a disappointment to the people you were with who wanted to talk about it.

These shows were everywhere you looked too – and the judges became celebrities in their own right. Kids dreamed about becoming famous just by turning up at the auditions.

A perfect example was Pop Stars which my husband and I were addicted to…and then when the band Hearsay was launched, the producers again were very clever at following them while they were creating their first album and making sure they were everywhere.

So what did they do right in terms of marketing then?

Well these shows knew their audiences well and knew if they could get families involved, people would do the marketing for them in terms of word of mouth. Follow that by making sure these shows were everywhere and you’re onto a winner.

But what’s happened now – these shows aren’t quite as popular as they once were and people seem to have got tired of the same old format. New shows that are launched now (think of things like The Biggest Loser and So you think you can dance?) are popular for a while, but the popularity doesn’t last as long as it once did.

This is a classic example of the product running its course and I wonder if it won’t be long before most of the really popular shows have gone by the wayside.

So what can you learn from reality TV shows?

While you might not be as big as these shows, what you can do is know your audience and make sure that your business is seen and heard of in all the places your audience go. Do that and you might find that you’re onto a winner.

About the author:
Exceptional Thinking provides advice and help to small businesses on their marketing and to people setting up in business.
My website is at:


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