The Reality of TV

This happens to me often: I’d surf through all the channels on my TV and go “There’s nothing to watch!”. And I bet it happens to you as well.

The invasion of totally weird to just plain silly reality TV shows has been swift, but far from over. It all started rather innocently with a show called Survivor, which was quite original and revolutionary at that time.

Then all hell broke loose.

TV & Remote
I'd rather have a...

Fast forward 10 years or so and there are more reality TV shows than any other kind of programming. Everything from people living in swamps to people driving trucks on ice roads is available for your viewing pleasure.

And we’re possibly only getting less than half of what they have in the US. Thank god!

The thing about reality shows – and why they’re so popular – is that they’re cheaper to produce than regular shows. No need for networks to employ writers, actors, costume designers, music directors or even a director at times.

But cheaper production costs aside, the other reason is actually advertising; or niche advertising as a matter of fact.

You see, TV used to be a mass media. Brands just clamour to advertise on primetime to reach as many eyes as possible.

Then came the internet, which allows for pin-point targeting. Something no other media can offer. So what do TV networks do? They fight back!

Their first move is to create programmes for almost every conceivable niche on the planet, then build viewership and finally get brands to advertise within that niche. Here are few general examples:


Well, in any case, the good news is that TV now allows for some degree of targeting. The bad news however, is that crappy programmes are here to stay

Target Target Target

Would you speak to a client like how you speak to your spouse? Or would you try to find a drinking buddy at an AA meeting?

It used to be ‘Location Location Location’. Not anymore. Even if you are located in the world’s busiest street, you’re screwed if you don’t know who you are selling to.

Even if you are selling online, a network where you can tap into millions of potential customers, knowing exactly who you want to sell to is imperative.

Target Practice
Please aim before you shoot, your message has a shorter reach than you think.

You don’t shoot without taking aim. You don’t engage without studying your opponent. You can’t – no matter how many times people say it – sell ice to an Eskimo.

Targeting is the first order of business in any marketing communications plan.  But sadly, it is grossly overlooked with ancient mass advertising techniques still employed in today’s niche-filled world.

The act of mass advertising is a concept of reaching the maximum number of people, and then hoping for a miracle. It’s like a fisherman who casts his net in waters filled with piranhas only to end up with a huge net to mend.

We all live in our own world these days. Each with our own interests, dislikes, philosophies and preferences.

Even your best friend – who you enjoy many mutual interests with – is a different person. Just compare your Facebook timeline with that of your best friend, you’ll be surprised how you became best friends in the first place.

Targeting sets the tone, especially with copy. It also provides insights and context while ensuring your sales message has a higher chance of being well-received.

What’s more? Targeted advertising campaigns are often a whole lot cheaper, easily managed and often very measurable.

Sell to all, or sell to the select few who could be waiting with their wallets open? So please aim before you shoot.