Danielle Levin is a Strategy intern.
With sixteen seasons, over six million viewers, and three shows a week, Big Brother is the summer television show. As an avid fan, only watching the episodes is simply not enough. Luckily, when I turn to its social media pages, I find exactly what I’m looking for: interviews with evicted HouseGuests on Facebook, tweets of behind-the-scenes pictures, and Big Brother After Dark. These are only a few of Big Brother’s added extras, but they all live to increase the program’s consumer engagement.
While it may seem obvious, consumer engagement is truly the holy grail of brand management. Without loyal and interested consumers, a brand is worthless and impossible to sustain. In Big Brother’s case, every season finds a new way to directly involve its fans. They have captured the idea of maintaining constant engagement in order to cultivate one of the strongest groups of loyal fans. “Team America,” a twist introduced this year, consists of three HouseGuests chosen by public vote to form a secret alliance in the house. They must work together to perform secret missions chosen by America throughout the season. In case you were wondering, of course I have not yet missed a week of participating in these polls.
All of these opportunities are surely exciting, but do not be fooled! Big Brother does not only engage its viewers during the summer months. It continues to constantly post on Facebook and Twitter to ensure that its fans remain digitally active as well as anxious for the upcoming season. Having a countdown to the next season increases anticipation, which makes loyal fans such as myself, schedule the premier in their calendar months in advance. Big Brother also posts many application links for the upcoming season, instilling a personal and relatable feel to its viewers.
This trend is spreading far and wide. Consumer engagement is highly valued among many other major brands outside of the television sector. A good example of this is the well-known Ikea. Much like Big Brother, Ikea is focused on a consumer engagement strategy as well. Its ‘Make Small Spaces Big’ campaign includes an online video that takes visitors on a 360-degree tour of a small apartment with clever design ideas. This type of interactive content gives consumers a virtual hands-on experience, with useful tips for any ordinary living space.
In the end, there are many reasons why I keep coming back for more Big Brother. Not only is this because the drama is unnervingly addictive, but the show’s digital presence has encouraged so much engagement that is has truly fostered a relationship between the game and the fans. The digital presence has brought something that seems so real and relatable, even more to life. Who said the viewers are merely the onlookers?