Guiding Comedy Content Decisions by MTV, Comedy Central [PG13] #TMRE #MRX


Live blogs by @LoveStats! This is a session summary from The Market Research Event by IIR in Orlando, Florida, November 2011. It was posted mere minutes after completion of the talk. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side remarks are also my own. Feel free to leave comments and critiques. ***                                                                                                          ***

  • Caution: Contains immature content :)
  • Lapsed Viewer Study – a Call to Action

    The original Comedy Central logo used from 199...

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  • They saw a drop in viewership in 2009. Day after election, the ratings started falling off. They had lost a million male 18-34 viewers. Decided to research the problem.
  • “The Missing Million March” – The eye was on content, they lost a few creatives, the election was gone.
  • “Who is making you laugh” not “Who is your favourite comedian”. People turned their TV straight to the HD channels, forgetting about the basic channels and Comedy Central wasn’t there. They didn’t have HD content at those channels but did that really matter? The 200+ HD channel neighbourhood was where they wanted to be.
  • Talking with consumers – Man vs Wild was favourite TV show. HD first, everything else second. Why aren’t these channels in HD?
  • Why the delay going to HD? It’s not funnier in HD. But it’s not funnier if no ones watching either. Going HD is a very quick win.
  • Are we losing our edge? Wasn’t new, edgy, fresh anymore.
  • Funny or Die, College Humour, these were the new competition
  • Came up with “audience immersion”. Get attention of decision makers, find retention, intention. MR isn’t good at marketing research. Flew in their top executives and showed them the ethnography. Then went to open floor and listened to people.
  • How did people share new shows? World of mouth is the best way to promote new shows. Showing online clips to people.
  • Immersion took down the one way mirror. Audience accountable to executives and vice versa. I feel like i have to act on what you say.
  • People wanted to help because they did like comedy central before.
  • [i keep hearing people say they gave out flip cams, prez after prez after prez]
  • They need to push the limits to show who they are, the gross/rude/crude/inappropriate/crass humour – toilet humour, people hurting themselves, sex humour, farts are funny, etc. You need to bring it to the new/wow factor though. Make it more extreme. The show Jackass is great. – This is guy to guy humour.
  • You don’t need to be attractive or sporty, humour breaks down the walls. Comedy is the way in to “getting laid”. Reno 911 will make a girl fall in love with you if you watch with her. Want to make your date laugh all night. Funny guys CAN be ugly as sin.
  • Humour is a change agent. Forget CNN. Go for Colbert. Comedy allows you to show diversity. comedy takes the power away from those who always used to have it.
  • My friends appreciate my humour. Links are prescreened clips. The trophy of “I posted first.”
  • Leave your email/ipad/iphone/facebook out at your own risk – someone will take it and post rude things on your behalf.
  • This level of fearlessness was not part of Comedy Central. How do they do this when they are ad supported?
  • They are redefining all their words – cool, edgy, original, provocative, shocking, fresh, and new
  • Research should never be capped. It is always ongoing, evolving.
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