Note: Post was updated on 2/12 with ratings info.
This post may contain “spoilers” to the January 30th broadcast of Let’s Make A Deal.
CBS continues to experiment with innovative uses of social TV’s Twitter “backchannel.” This time, engaging its more than 67,000 @LetsMakeDealCBS Twitter followers, yesterday, while the show’s latest episode was being taped for its January 30th broadcast.
Over the course of about two hours there were about 7 times where folks following the @LetsMakeDealCBS Twitter handle could Tweet answers that would affect the course of the show.
Some of the engagement was through multiple choice hashtags:
While others were more open ended questions:
CBS also used Tout to give the Twitter audience short behind the scenes video clips of the game show’s talent.
Using Radian6, I extracted all of the mentions of 10 different hashtags used over the course of yesterday (click chart to enlarge).
The multiple choice hashtag that was Tweeted the most garnered 65 mentions. That's less than one hundred (in case you thought that was a typo ;-). The more generic #DecideTheDeal hashtag was Tweeted 172 times yesterday. That’s about .25% (note the “.”) of Let’s Make A Deal’s followers on Twitter.
Before any of us think these seem like low participation numbers, let’s keep in mind what CBS’s goal is: Ratings. They’re using this as a stunt to generate buzz that will drive people to tune in on Wednesday, January 30th when the actual episode airs.
That’s when we’ll see whether or not this (again innovative) experiment worked for them.
UPDATED 2/12 - The ratings are in and it seems as though this stunt did what it was intended to do as this episode garnered the highest ratings so far this season amoung adults 18-49 (47% higher than the average) and is tied as the top rated Let's Make A Deal eipsode in 2 years.
A final thought:
I’ve now looked a results for stunts like these for The Voice, Hawaii Five-0, and now Let’s Make A Deal with the latter two having relatively low volumes of people who Tweet about the show when compared to shows like ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars or AMC’s The Walking Dead or VH1’s Love & Hip Hop– and especially live events (sports or awards shows).
If television networks want to drive the volume of participating in interactive “social TV” stunts like these, producers may want to consider the most social shows on their respective networks. Yet at the same time, NBC’s The Voice does indeed have a very active real-time audience on Twitter yet still only got about 15,000 Tweets when they tried a real-time vote.
In the end, this is just the beginning of the potential for audiences (who want to) to be able to interact with and affect their favorite shows. I hope the experimentation from TV networks continues…