TV in the Real World

TV in the Real World

Though many consumers still rely on programming guides and general serendipity to decide what shows to watch, research by Nielsen reveals that more of us are learning about shows via social channels than ever before.

But as the amount of content available today continues to rise, gaining the social traction to engage viewers becomes more important — and more difficult.

To stand out, marketers should look to the static needs that drive us to watch TV in the first place. According to Thinkbox, an agency for commercial TV in the UK, there are six such needs: to unwind, to experience, to escape, to indulge, for comfort, and for connection.

On-demand streaming made it easier for viewers to fulfill many of these needs, especially to escape and indulge, when, where, and how they want. But these changes in viewing habits have impeded TV’s ability to satisfy the more social needs.

Marketers, however, can create shared experiences around programming, inviting viewers to feel as though they’re part of something meaningful. Something bigger.

Real-world experiences allow to interact with and participate in their favorite shows, off the couch. Not only do they allow fans to connect in real life, these immersive experiences amplify social reach by providing truly shareable moments.

Consider the examples below:

The Eric Andre Show

GOXD and Adult Swim recently teamed up to create a pop-up ranch dressing dispensary in New York based on The Eric Andre Show’s offbeat “Legalize Ranch” campaign. The pop-up generated social media buzz by providing the show’s niche group of fans a place to take part in the action and spirit of the show with other fans.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

To promote the upcoming mini-series, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Netflix transformed over 200 coffee shops into iterations of the show’s beloved Luke’s Diner. The coffee shops attracted massive crowds and social media attention, giving Gilmore Girls fans a place to connect with others while getting to “live like a Gilmore,” if just for a few moments. 


In honor of Seinfeld’s release on Hulu, the streaming site created an exhibit that brought Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment to life for five days in West Hollywood, Calif. Fans of the show flocked to the apartment exhibit that accompanied a miniature Seinfeld museum, boasting about their experience online and likely heading home to start streaming.  

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