NBC’s weeklong primetime run of Howie Mandel-hosted game show Take It All reveals what the next iteration of game shows might look like in the social TV era of television.
While second screen companion apps have yet to find scale/mass appeal with television viewing audiences, the game show genre might actually be its sweet spot. Since game shows have been on the air, people have always mentally played along at home. The second screen (in the form of our tablets, smartphones, and laptops) actually let us do that – and with each other. In addition, the demographic that plays social games is also similar to the demographic that watches game shows.
Playing around with NBC's Take It All app last night, I was struck by a few things:
- NBC did a nice job using their investment in Zeebox to integrate the Take It All App as a layer that sits on top of it (versus something separate).
- Similarly, everything from logging in to playing along was in the vein of “lightweight interactions” – the whole experience was seamless and simple.
- The strategy behind the app is smart. The game can only be played while watching the show live (hence an incentive along with the lure of winning $10,000 that could drive ratings).
- It was great to see on-air/in-broadcast promos for the game/Zeebox leveraging Howie Mandel at the end of a commercial break further connecting the dots and emphasizing Take It All as a cross-channel experience.
As for where this could lead? There is a huge opportunity when the show goes to commercial break for the app to be doing something (other than just showing a countdown timer) such as ads that sync to the broadcast commercials helping to reinforce an advertiser's message (and provide lean-forward interaction with the TV spot).
And the holy grail? The biggest opportunity would be to leverage the app/second screen for live game shows (unfortunately this game show is pre-recorded) wherein the viewing audience can actually affect and/or be integrated into the broadcast itself.
Now that would be social TV at its finest.