How to Keep People Watching
Netflix, HBO, YouTube, Amazon and more. The world of basic cable is one of the past. With the click of a button, we find ourselves diving into hours upon hours of fascinating entertainment. More than ever, people can discover television that aligns with their preferences. Don’t like “Dexter?” Try “The Crown.” If reality television is your style, perhaps subscribe to Hulu and check out exclusive interviews for “The Bachelor.” The current generation is in the “golden age of television,” and we easily reap the rewards by watching premium content with a bottle of wine and a close companion.
So, where does this leave the older, nostalgic media?
One of the staples of traditional broadcast has been late-night entertainment. With the popularity of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” the world entered a talk show revolution. The comedic, variety program has become a mainstay in current culture. Current hosts include Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, James Corden, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, John Oliver and Trevor Noah. Most of these hosts deliver monologue jokes, interview guests and star in filmed sketches. With such a crowded environment, it becomes challenging to stand out from the competition.
Like public relations professionals, television teams are learning to adapt to current trends. In combination with lighter use of traditional media, shows are taking to the digital space to market and interact with viewers. As an intern and production assistant for Conan O’Brien this past year, I witnessed the way entertainment evolves constantly.
O’Brien’s team has grown to prove they are digitally savvy, incorporating Snapchat and Instagram into their daily communication. O’Brien also does YouTube exclusives, offering a chance for the younger generation to engage with his brand. Though millennials may not tune in to his Monday – Thursday show on TBS, they are more likely to watch his “Clueless Gamer” series on YouTube. To promote the live show in New York City from October 31 – November 4, “Conan” used:
- Billboards and subway signs
- Animated street signs
- Snapchat filters
- A “step-and-repeat” that was created for an Instagram background
- Broadcast advertisements and YouTube advertisements
Though O’Brien hits middle ground when it comes to viewers on television, many of his online videos garner millions of views. Because of this success, The New York Post reported that YouTube has approached O’Brien to be the official host for their YouTube Red channel. It remains to be seen whether he will take the position. Regardless, one thing is certain. The longest tenured late-night host will be sure to mix the new and the old in a charming, hilarious way.
Looking for more adventures? Check out another Clairemont intern’s travels to Amsterdam!
Written by Casey Moore, senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.