The Voice Takes Social and #Tailgating to a Whole New Level


NBC’s The Voice has been a TV fan favorite for a long time, and it’s innovative utilization of social media throughout its history has made it a huge social engager.  In 2011, The Voice’s biggest success was its ability to engage fans through Twitter. Although it may seem like old news now, the inclusion of Twitter into the very core of the show was a huge step in the social direction. Tweets are shown on the live broadcasts, and this is used to empower viewers and give them a feeling of direct involvement with the fate of the performers.

During Tuesday night’s episode viewers were given five minutes to vote for their favorite of the bottom three artists to continue on into the Top 10. While nine contestants were saved by fans’ votes in the previous evening, the tenth contestant is saved via a live tweeting save. The hashtag #VoiceSave was used followed by the name of the singer. Viewers could watch the popularity of the hashtags #VoiceSaveTJ, #VoiceSaveDani, and #VoiceSaveTess fluctuate throughout commercial breaks. Unsurprisingly, Tess won the hearts of viewers, and she will again be performing in next week’s live shows, but looking at The Voice’s social engagement brings us to the big picture.

It is not uncommon to see shows rely heavily on second screen viewer engagement. Yet this week, The Voice went social beyond just voting, and invited viewers to a Voice Tailgate. While Americans usually associate tailgates with hotdogs and beer, the social tailgate has an entirely different meaning. Using the hashtag #VoiceTailgate, “hungry fans” were given a taste of behind the scenes social content in place of hotdogs. While actual tailgate recipes are included with this event, the main goal was clearly to further engage and bring together fans via multiple social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Involved audiences had access to behind-the-scenes content and potential on-screen mentions by Carson Daly.

What does this mean for The Voice and social media? These campaigns are booming with success and bringing a whole new world to Social TV. The Voice has consistently been an innovative leader in social TV, and its results have been astounding. Looking to the future, fans can be a part of the making of The Voice through many different avenues, and the excitement and benefit surrounding this socialization of TV may only be a precursor of what’s to come in the world of social TV, highlighting the unique attributes of the intersection of television and social media.


Mobile Devices & the Second-Screen

The digital space has entered every facet of our daily lives with the help of connected devices, establishing the ‘digital consumer’. On average, every American citizen has four digital devices on which they spend 60 hours a week. Of the most common and popular digital devices are smartphones, tablets, and HDTV’s.

Reliance on these devices has started to influence our TV viewing behaviors in the form of a second-screen. The infographic below from Nielson’s Digital Consumer Report provides statistics on how people engage with their tablets and smartphones while watching TV.


The second-screen is commonly used to look up information about characters and plot lines, and to research and buy goods and services advertised. Of the most popular second-screen activities is discussing TV on social media platforms. Roughly one million Americans per day engage in social TV through tweeting.

Consumers use the second-screen to engage with the television program they are watching in real time and by doing so, are able to create, participate, and foster online discussion with friends, followers, and other viewers around the world. Social TV engagement is becoming second nature and may even be considered an extension of actually viewing the program itself. Accompanied with the enjoyment for the social TV engager, is the transparency and readiness for businesses and marketers to view the social activity. Listening and analyzing social TV behavior can lead to a greater understanding of the consumers’ point of view and can help marketers foresee future threats and opportunities.

Social Media Matchup– Jay Leno Farewell vs. Jimmy Fallon Debut

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno came to an end after 22 seasons last week, and with the end of an era came the start of a new one with the debut of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Jay Leno’s farewell show on February 6th reached 14.64 million viewers and Fallon’s debut reached 11.31 million. While both episodes are the two most viewed Tonight Show episodes, which one accumulated more social buzz?

According to NielsonSocial Guide, and reported by Mashable, Fallon attracted more buzz on Twitter than did his predecessor. Roughly 79,900 unique accounts sent 157,600 tweets that night, amounting to 15.6 million Twitter impressions (number of tweets seen). This was much higher than Leno’s last episode which garnered 79,400 tweets from 52,400 accounts resulting in 9.9 million impressions. While the disparity could be related to the impressive list of big stars Fallon brought on for his first episode, it could also be due to the differing audiences which the comedians attract. Fallon draws a much younger crowd which is known to be more active via social media and therefore could result in the higher number of tweets and impressions.

Fallon’s most popular segment on the opening episode, “$100 Tonight Show Bet” can be seen in the clip below. 


Is Targeted Marketing Entering Mass Media?: Addressable TV

Direct to consumer marketing has become increasingly personalized since the introduction of Google ads and Facebook banners. Based on browsing history, surfers see more of what they want. Despite the growing personalization in online marketing, mass media hasn’t yet capitalized on this trend, but with the introduction of an emerging technology, Addressable TV, this may all change before our eyes.

Addressable TV allows advertisers to target commercials to specific home television sets. The service is specifically targeted at insurance companies and political campaigns, and can help marketers run more efficient campaigns. Broadcast companies are expected to charge a higher per viewer rate for the increased precision afforded to advertisers.

Chauncey McLean, Chief Officer of Analytics Media Group, believes that this enhanced feature will attract advertisers. “Addressable TV is a powerful tool for those that are equipped to use it.  If [they] know who [they] want to talk to and what [they] want to say, [they] can be much more precise”.

The Democratic National Committee employed targeted marketing through direct mail and door-to-door visits during the last gubernatorial campaign, helping Virginia Governor Terry Mcauliffe win that election. The opportunity for targeted TV advertising for political campaigns may emerge as early as the 2016 presidential election.

We can only wonder what the future will bring to political advertising, but as this emerging technology continues to evolve, the marketing implications for TV advertising as a whole are astronomical. While the introduction of this innovation may bring about major changes in election polling, we can only wonder when it will be employed to advertise consumer goods, and if and when it may become too personal and too invasive.

How Social is Sochi?

Whether or not you are actually watching the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, we have all seen tweets from our friends, instagrams from athletes being stuck in bathrooms and elevators, and updates on the news about wins, losses, tinder, and #SochiProblems. The Olympics are a social TV event, not just surrounding the actual competition, but also for brands and athletes. The infographic below from Offerpop displays engagement with Olympic promotions and social conversations about Sochi.


Best TV Presidents

In honor of President’s Day, we have compiled a list of our top 5 favorite fictional TV Presidents.


1. President Josiah (Jed) Bartlet

“The West Wing”

Actor: Martin Sheen

Best Quote: [with the Secretary of Agriculture, Roger Tribbey, the cabinet member staying behind during a State of the Union address]

Bartlet: Oh, Roger. If anything happened, you know what to do, right?

Roger Tribbey: I honestly hadn’t thought about it, sir.

Bartlet: First thing always is national security. Get your commanders together. Appoint Joint Chiefs, appoint a chairman. Take us to defcon 4. Have the governors send emergency delegates to Washington. The assistant Attorney General is going to be the Acting A.G. If he tells you he wants to bring out the National Guard, do what he tells you. [pause] You got a best friend?

Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.

Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?

Roger Tribbey[chuckles] Yes, sir.

Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?

Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.

Bartlet: That’s your chief of staff.




2. President David Palmer


Actor: Dennis Haysbert

Best Quote: “Listen to me. All of you. I know you’re not in the same room with me but you can see and hear me plainly enough. Take a good look. Do I seem scared? Am I breaking into a nervous sweat? Am I babbling? At a loss for words? Is my voice shaking? Can any one of you look me in the eye and tell me I’m disabled?”



3. President Mackenzie Allen

“Commander in Chief”

Actor: Geena Davis

Best Quote: ”So let me understand this. We have half of the Secret Service at the airport, FBI, SWAT teams, we have a spy satellite that can read a license plate from space, and my major source of information is cable news? What if the Chinese invade? Am I gonna hear it first on talk radio?”



4. President Fitzgerald Grant III


Tony Goldwyn

Best Quote: “No one elected you! You’re not the president! You don’t weigh in on foreign policy! Your opinion doesn’t matter! You are the first lady. Your job is to plant gardens and decorate rooms and let them blog about your clothes. You’re ornamental, not functional. So don’t come into the oval and try to use your brain because no one cares.”



5. President Garrett Walker

“House of Cards”

Michael Gill

Best Quote: “I feel like I’m losing control of my own goddamn administration”

House of Cards: Season 2 Returns

The much anticipated second season of the Netflix original program “House of Cards” was released earlier today, with all 13 episodes hitting the streaming service simultaneously. With the show’s fans buzzing about the return of Francis Underwood, Netflix capitalized on their strong social media reach by teasing fans with quote-cards in the days prior to the show’s debut.

The show’s primary handle, @houseofcards, created special picture assets to push out via social media and followers responded. Netflix combined their branded messages with re-tweets of popular accounts and news organizations which helped promote the premiere. Beau Willimon, the show’s creator, was retweeted often, as well as Kate Mara, who plays Zoe, the ambitious journalist who’s trying to make a name for herself in the throes of political news-writing.

Popular celebrities and household names from Ricky Gervais to President Obama had much praise for the show. Here are some of our favorites.

The premier cleverly coincides with Valentines Day, spotlighting Netflix’s binge-viewing model, and ensuring that even those without a significant other can still indulge with the enthralling plot twists that are sure to come this season. Happy viewing!

Is the Fading Charm of a Disrespectful Homophobe Hurting “The Bachelor”?


The premise of ABC’s “The Bachelor” is for one man to find love from a group of contestants who apply from around the country. This season stars Juan Pablo, a 32-year old single father to daughter Camila. While in previous seasons, viewers have fallen in love with the bachelor, Juan Pablo has raked in more hatred than allure.

Charged by Bachelor viewers as a homophobe, Juan Pablo was quoted as saying that a gay or bisexual man should not be featured as the bachelor because he “[doesn’t] think it’s a good example for kids to watch that on TV” and added that “they’re more perverts, in a sense”.  Bloggers and tweeters were rampant with commentary about this bachelor’s speech. Some conversationalists called the show’s premise, and Juan Pablo’s participation in it, a bad example to kids, as they should not be watching this show at all. The Huffington Post and entertainment publications on the Internet flooded Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter home pages with outraged fans, as some re-tweeted articles with their own commentary:

A self-declared dedicated father, Juan Pablo’s homophobic, derogatory comments are not his only despicable attribute making fans wonder why exactly anyone still wants to be his true love. While the show’s premise may seem innocent enough at first glance, the way that Juan Pablo conducts himself on the show is certainly not.  Sean Hayes and his sweetheart  Catherine from the previous season would not live together before their marriage, vowing traditional values, an admirable trait. On the other end of the spectrum, Juan Pablo has been anything but wholesome, as he gets very close to many of the women on this season, outraging and deterring fans.

Last week, Juan Pablo got particularly intimate with contestant Clare, and then shamed and ignored her in the following episode. This behavior has further angered fans, and leaves them wondering when exactly all of the fandom and fascination with this hunky Venezuelan will end.

Embarrassing ABC by his remarks, and degrading women left and right, Juan Pablo’s commentary was denounced by ABC and the production company. While negative opinions about Clare have faded, we can rely on Juan Pablo to continue to disappoint and offend with each new episode.


The Gamification of Social TV


Viggle is a gamification, loyalty platform for social TV, that is leading the second screen television experience. As users check into their favorite shows or log their music activity, they gain points, achieve different Fandom Levels, and can use points to redeem special rewards and offers from businesses such as Best Buy, Hulu Plus, and Groupon. The platform fosters a community in which users are exposed to new shows, and can see what their friends are watching and listening to as well. Your activity and friends’ activity on Viggle is all aggregated on your activity feed, on which you can compare your activity and points with others in your network. Below is a more in depth look of how Viggleworks:


Viggle is a Manhattan headquartered start up that was launched in 2012 by media entrepreneur, Robert F.X. Sillerman. Its concept and strategy looks promising as Viggle has been progressively expanding its reach. In December 2013, it bought Facebook publisher WetPaint for $30 million. Most recently, Viggle acquired Dijit Media, a company based in San Francisco that runs “NextGuide,” a personalized TV and web programming guide. Vijit’s CEO Jeremy Toeman is excited about the move and merger:

“We have had incredible growth and success since our launch and we’re excited to join with another company that shares our goals – to create a holistic marketing platform for brands and networks, while giving our users content and tools they need to take control of their daily entertainment choices.”

Viggle leverages their social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to announce bonus points opportunities and new rewards. Throughout its short history, Viggle has made impacts on consumer behavior in television tune-in and engagement. Greg Consiglio, President and COO of Viggle explains:

“Not only are our users tuning in to shows we promote but now, our platform is playing a growing role in their viewing experience, including real-time engagement and driving sustained viewing throughout a season.”

Viggle’s reach now extends to 17 million users, a promising indication of the company’s future success and leadership in the second screen and social TV industries.

SeeSpace Introduces InAiR

Last month at CES, a new way to watch TV was introduced. InAiR, created by SeeSpace, has the ability to simultaneously place web content on a users TV. This allows users the ability to browse Facebook or Twitter or any other online medium they choose all while watching TV.

“Viewers don’t want to watch TV in isolation any more. They want context: graphics, information and social engagement. Today, there is no easy way to display this content without the second screen,” said Nam Do, co-founder and CEO of SeeSpace. “We had to crack both the design and the technical challenges to deliver InAiR, a completely new kind of viewer interface. InAiR makes use of the entire viewing space in front of the TV, and creates a new medium of combined media like nothing people have interacted with before.”


InAiR is designed to work with any existing TV and the only hardware needed is the InAiR Smart HDMI Adapter (shown in the image above). Once a customer has this hardware, they can easily just plug it into their computer and enjoy InAiR Augmented TV right away.

How does one control it? Simply download the free InAiR app on your smart phone, tablet, or smart watch even, and use your thumbs to swipe and scroll across content on the screen to control it on your TV.  InAiR has the incredible ability to identify relevant information from the web and social media outlets that it can then deliver to the customer’s screen all in real time with their TV viewing.

InAiR will be available to preorder for $99 via a Kickstarter campaign launched last month. With 26 days left to go in their campaign, SeeSpace has already surpassed their funding goal by 107%, showing the high demand for this product.

The InAiR is set to be released in the second half of 2014. For more information on InAiR or SeeSpace visit: