It used to be so simple. Find an audience (usually from someone or something with enough money to own mass media), put an ad in front of that audience and roll around on a bed laden with cash, laughing maniacally. These days, there is huge media fragmentation, constant distraction (AKA ‘obesity of the mind’), more good content on offer than ever before and numerous ways for consumers to dodge ads. That makes reaching audiences much more difficult, but the rise of digital technology and the rapid changes in the way people are consuming media has meant broadcasters and advertisers have had to embrace more creative methods of storytelling to maintain the audience’s attention, something Blacksand’s senior digital producer Amie Mills discussed recently at the first TVNZ Outtakes event.
Browsing: Shortland St
Around the world, advertisers are trying to involve their audiences in the marketing, whether it’s Wendy’s love songs, Airbnb’s Hollywood & Vines, Newcastle’s crappy crowdsourcing or, locally, Give it a V and Feel Tip Top. TV shows have long talked about doing the same, and many of them have taken fandom into the realm of social media. But increasingly it seems broadcasters are not content with audiences passively absorbing content and are trying to convince them to get involved. So how’s that working out for them?
Around the world, broadcasters are using their talents to make more than just promos for their own shows or idents for their own channels. And TVNZ’s Blacksand is no exception. So should agencies be concerned by the multi-skilled employees, the quick turnaround, the increasing interaction with clients and the improving output of this inhouse creative department? Or can everyone get along?
Avid fans might remember the debut of Shortland St back in 1992. Aside from delectable ’90s fashion and haircuts, it featured a particularly naughty romantic rendezvous between Dr Chris Warner and a lycra-clad aerobics instructor played by Suzy Aitken, and also gave birth to that line now etched in the Kiwi psyche: “You’re not in Guatemala now, Dr Ropata.” Early signs weren’t too promising, however, and ratings dropped after its launch. But that was two decades ago and as the show edges closer to its 20th anniversary, its popularity seems well assured, with the show consistently capturing over 600,000 viewers in the 5+ market, second only to One News. And with a big promotional push to celebrate the milestone, culminating in a special anniversary feature episode on Monday 21 May, TVNZ is hoping those ratings will soon be shooting upwards.
TVNZ raked in a fair few awards at the Qantas Film and Television Awards. And it added to its weekend haul at the Promax/BDA ANZ festivities, an awards show that aims to recognise the broadcasting world’s best promotional work.