As it nears the end of its first season, the signs are auspicious for The Ad Show: it's taken the channel's top spot for download numbers, the studio audience members are "hanging from the rafters", a few extra episodes have been commissioned and there are high hopes that the hand that feeds will commission a second season.
The Ad Show's producer Raewyn Rasch says TVNZ7 isn't rated, so there are no viewing figures to quantify its success. But it has become the channel's most downloaded show, winning out over Media7 and Backbenchers (she is unable to give out the download figures as they belong to TVNZ). And she says online audiences have risen week on week.
Produced by Top Shelf Productions and hosted by NBR columnist Hazel Phillips and reporter/researcher Simon Pound, the Ad Show was originally scheduled for 15 episodes but has had its first season extended by a further five shows. And Rasch says the other indication of success is that the studio audience is now so large that extra seating has had to be brought in.
“It can be a bit crazy some nights but the audience really add energy to the show and we try each week to incorporate them into programme.”
While Rasch says its core audience is the marketing and advertising fraternity, she has been impressed with the amount of feedback the show has received from the general public. One of the reasons for the creation of the show was the continuing popularity of shows like the Fair Go Ad Awards, which typically rate among New Zealand's most watched. And it seems the mysterious realm of the persuasive commercial arts still appeals to the hoi polloi.
"We try to have something for everybody in every show. Really, the core audience is the advertising industry, but we try to make it for the general public as well. There are things for the industry and we often explain how some aspects of advertising work."
As far as the future of the show goes, Rasch doesn't have anything in writing from TVNZ just yet, but she's confident it will be recommissioned for a second season.
"We are hopeful. TVNZ is very positive. And they have used the term 'first season', which is a good sign. If we were to have a second season, basically they would be running another programme for 10-15 weeks, which would put us back on in October some time."
The AD Show is broadcast at 9.35pm on Thursday on TVNZ7 on Freeview and Sky channel 97 and is replayed several times during the week. It's also available on demand from TVNZ’s website and as a podcast.