Channel 10 has done it again. The Television Network has leveraged the power of Super Fans on Social Media to spread the word about their new offering: Puberty Blues, a drama series set in 70s Australia and based around the lives of two girls growing up around Cronulla Beach in Sydney.
Set to hit TV screens on August 15th, Puberty Blues is already getting some great reviews for the cast and portrayal of life in the 70s…sure to be a trip down memory lane for many Australians.
So what has me buzzing this morning? It's not just the fact that I got to watch the premiere episode last night on my iMac before its television release next week. It's not just the familiar faces of some of Australia's most well-loved actors. It's not just the childhood memories the show elicits. It's the fact that Channel 10 are using Social Media in innovative ways. Again.
What is Channel 10 doing that is so innovative when it comes to social media? Well, a few things actually:
#1 Puberty Blues Series Launch – Facebook Exclusive Preview
The Social Media Team at Network Ten have “launching” down to a fine art. Not only are they doing the traditional teaser ads on television in the lead up to the 1st episode of Puberty Blues, but they have used a mix of offline and online media, particularly Facebook to generate interest and create buzz around the new series. Let's take a look at some of the strategies used in the lead up to the 1st episode:
Of note, before the announcement of the “exclusive online screening” was made, Ten were strategically posting on a Facebook page that had gained a lot of traction in just a short time. Even before posting about the advanced screening, they were encouraging fans to post about their 70s memories, and they held a fun location-based photography promotion at the annual Splendour in the Grass Festival:
In addition to “offline” and location based events such as those above, the Social Media Team went into overdrive, cutting straight to the heart of fans with nostalgic 70s posts and using the 70s theme to create community on their page. Fans were already engaging on the page well before the sneak preview episode aired online:
and then the teaser…
How does the App work? With the show only up for 48 hours to view online, Fans are asked to “like” the Puberty Blues Facebook Page in order to access the App which will allow them to view the show. Go to this link to watch before midnight tonight!
A number of factors make this work really well:
- The App is all about new and exciting content, but with a sense of urgency – the episode is only online for 48 hours, so fans are more likely to watch it now.
- The App provides Facebook Users with VIP treatment and rewards them for being part of the Channel 10 Community online.
- Open graph integration was incorporated into the application – ie as soon as a fan starts watching the episode, a post appears on their timeline announcing that they are watching it. Here is mine from last night:
Did it work?
Absolutely! The fans on the Puberty Blues Facebook Page doubled overnight.
The Head of Entertainment – Digital at Channel 10, Vanessa Arden Wood, explains the strategy behind this successful social media campaign: “More and more people are using social media to talk about the TV programs they enjoy and we want to reward the ”˜superfans' with the ability to watch the episode ahead of time. With a strong, highly anticipated show like Puberty Blues we also hope these people will continue to talk about the experience and the episode and encourage their friends to tune in.”
As Vanessa explains, it is their VIP treatment of fans that gets results (and increases the social proof to friends of fans). “Offering fans something ”˜extra' also increases the social buzz for a show” she says. “And this is becoming increasingly important as people choose what to watch on TV through social recommendations.”
#2 Offspring and MasterChef Australia – Custom Built Facebook Apps
I wrote about the successful launch of Season 3 of Offspring here. Using a similar Open Graph App to Puberty Blues, the Offspring Launch was a hit online. Vanessa Arden Wood reported that when Channel 10 did the previous, similar, promotion for Offspring Season 3 (2012) the season as a whole, in particular the Offspring offerings online were a winner for their network. “Offspring averaged 1.01million viewers across its third season, winning its timeslot convincingly in key target audiences, people 18 to 49 (31.2% commercial share), people 16 to 39 (32.6%) and people 25 to 54 (29.6%). Offspring was also number one in its timeslot in Women (29.7%), Women 18 to 49 (38.6%), Women 16 to 39 (40%) and Women 25 to 54 (36.9%)”. Note: I already knew I was in the majority…every girlfriend I know loves the show!
In fact, Channel 10 is using innovative custom apps for many of its major shows. The hugely popular Masterchef Australia has also used custom apps to create buzz, encourage sharing of content and increase engagement on Facebook – with competitions for fans.
The Masterchef App provides a great utilization of open graph functionality by allowing fans to create their own recipes and upload them. It also includes a unique bookmarking function where fans can save recipes to a bookmarks folder. The App is compatible with the iPad to allow for easy viewing of bookmarked recipes in the kitchen for budding Masterchefs!
With a firm focus on shareability of content and the clever use of open graph to allow friends of fans to see their activities, Channel 10 are paving the way for some fabulous future fan interactivity on social media.
Set to launch in Australia later this year, Zeebox is a so-called “second screen” TV platform. Zeebox aims to make TV better by bringing the power of the web to every second of live TV – and making it a more immersive and social experience than ever before. Zeebox will go up against Fango in Australia, but with a twist. Zeebox can be used across all television networks, and not just restricted to one. Let's face it, we all change channels when viewing, so it makes sense for Ten to adopt a platform that gives viewers access to all channels, socially.
Did you know that according to Deloitte, 60 percent of us are multitasking in front of the television by using social media on mobile phones and iPads? A change has arrived with the potential for viewers to interact with each other more than ever while watching, and (inevitably) for there to be more and more options to buy things that we see on screen.
Ten chief operating officer Jon Marquard said the launch of Zeebox in Australia was a key part of the network's digital media strategy, and that he hoped other networks would use Zeebox as well. “While we want everyone to watch Ten, we don't expect that viewers only ever watch Ten,” he said. “So we wanted an app that is agnostic over all channels and can have the ability for people to access a whole range of channels”. Smart thinking, Mr Marquard.
I for one will be curious to see what Channel 10 comes up with next. Something innovative, I am sure.
What about you? Have you watched any of the sneak previews? Are you a “social” TV Watcher? What do you think of Zeebox?
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