Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel Teaches Us All How To Twerk Social Media.

Jimmy Kimmel's recent exploit with the Epic Twerk Fail gives us all some great lessons in the new world of Social Media.   No doubt you saw the video all over your Facebook page, on news casts, in talk shows, or just roaming the office on someone's computer.  The 30 second video of a girl twerking and falling backwards on a table with a candle and her pants catching of fire spread like wild fire.  It's over 11 million views in just a week and then Jimmy reveals he did the video as a hoax with a stunt woman and that reveal is heading to 10 million views.  

Here are some observations and lessons that Jimmy's prank can teach us:

Authentic Wins - You can't hype it.  Look at all the 'authentic looking' touches here.  It starts with the video itself looking as if it was shot on a phone.  Even the 'acting' here is carefully executed to make it look 'not professional.'  The room itself is set up with cheap furniture and a no frills look.   The key here is that the video looks real.

Timing It: The other key here is how Jimmy deals with the video.   He sets the trap carefully by just posting the video and then he waits till it starts to grow.  He carefully waits to show it on his show till it has already started to grow on Social Media and media programming.  How many Morning Shows posted this video on their web sites and Social Media pages?  Too many to count.  Jimmy sits and watches it grow and then he reveals the hoax and takes over the bit.  

Hitting A Hot Topic:  This bit wouldn't have grown much with out Miley's wild twerking on the MTV Awards show.  Jimmy's other key here was jumping on something that everyone was already talking about.

Let Social Media Do the Work:  If you have something that is 'hot' enough you can see the power of Social Media here.  Just remember you can't HYPE it.  Social Media will do the work IF you carefully set the stage.  

So what does Jimmy really get from this bit?  So what, he racks up 10 million views on some video.   Actually Jimmy gains a lot from this bit.  Next year we'll be watching an 'epic battle' on the nightly talk shows.  Leno exits again and now we have 2 newer players Fallon vs Kimmel.   Kimmel is on ABC and still finding an audience - this is where Nightline was just a year ago.  NBC's Tonight show has always won this slot - just ask Letterman.  Fallon is building up solid props and looks ready to hit it big on the Tonight Show.
Kimmel needs to grab the spotlight now - while he is the only 'new world' show in the time slot.

When you look at the new breed of show that Fallon and Kimmel are crafting they are clearly aiming at an audience that lives in social media and has never known a world without the web.  The Jimmies play constantly on Social Media.  They tweet all the time, play games with the audience on social media and use material that comes right from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and if some new site develops they will pounce on it.  

Meanwhile Letterman and Leno only put their toe in the Social Media pool.

So what does this mean to your station and your personalities?   Actually a lot.  There is a lot to learn from in how Kimmel built the bit and used Social Media here.   The lessons are really pretty obvious.  Perhaps the real area we should consider here is - 'are we living in the Letterman/Leno world or the world of the Jimmy's.'  Are we diving into the audience's pool or just hanging out around it?

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