Monday, March 03, 2008

The Lines Between Media Blur

Gary Coleman, the once popular child star from the show "Different Strokes" has largely been famous for being famous for quite some time. That fact may be changing thanks to his involvement as a media personality for "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter." The margarine has developed a game show in which individuals take on Coleman with trivia questions ranging from pop culture from the 70s and 80s to questions about food. The winner can possibly win an $1 million annuity.

Another game show is no big deal, but there are elements to this program that are interesting, to say the least. Most importantly, the show is web based and not on TV.

This unique approach has the following advantages:

* It's cheaper than the traditional game show format, TV. This goes without saying and it allows for a worldwide audience and not merely a national one.

* It allows a level of branding on the show that is normally never done on TV. "I Can't Believe it is Not Butter" is plastered on every inch of the game show's campaign.

* A web personality has to be cheaper than a TV personality. Let's face it, Coleman has been desperate for a new career. His recent marriage has created a stir (she is much taller and younger than him), but he has largely been under the radar screen.

* It is leading to creative PR. Coleman is giving interviews all over the media about his new bride, but those exchanges appear predicated on him being allowed to promote the new game show.

* The program allows for people to win the opportunity to win $1 million. This is an annuity and not cash. This is more affordable than more game shows, but still has plenty of sizzle.

* This game can be played 24/7, because even when Gary isn't there, there are other competitors.

This is a big investment and move towards the Internet, and it should put fear in the heart of any media that are primarily locked in traditional models. The lines are blurred and Gary Coleman is exacting significant revenge on a media that has largely ignored him for years.
Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Larry Daville said...

Good article. I think you are right. ALL traditional media should feel threatened.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Sandy Harper said...

What a joke, I don't think this is a major "break through."

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coleman use to be cute. He seems kind of odd now.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool stuff. It is a brave new world for business.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Hal Miles said...

I think you are on a roll on this. Everything is changing.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin Price said...

This approach to media is important because "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" has broken the confines of traditional media. Historically, to do something like this would require persuing an infomercial or something. Instead they spend that money on ads and PR on many channels and that innovation drives traffic to its website. It is really quite smart.

6:15 PM  

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