The Interactive Consumer

In recent years, consumers have intensified the position of social media platforms in advertisement campaigns. As a result, Television networks have begun to ardently incorporate social media as a means to integrate consumers into the media mix. Think about the last time you watched an awards show or the last time you watched an interactive show like “The Voice” on Television. Consumer interaction has become a driving force behind the show. Has it not?

Now let’s take this further. Big award shows like MTV’s VMA’s (as an example) have opted to focus on real-time marketing. The show’s target audience which is predominantly comprised of millennials has a larger understanding of social media platforms and thus will be the first group to participate in on-line discussions regarding real-time events. Thus, advertisers now desire to get the ball rolling and become a part of the interaction. MTV successfully beefed up their advertising machine by promoting social currency which is, “something valuable in the moment, that they (consumer) can share while watching live shows on a TV set with a tablet or mobile phone next to them” (Elliott,par. 10).

images-1For example, Pepsi in partnership with performing artist Usher and MTV, created a hashtag #UsherNOW to promote the show and their product during Usher’s performance at the VMA’s. Concurrently, other advertisers did the same with different hashtags promoting their products and the show. Do you think it is always a good idea to use real time events for advertisement purposes? How do you feel about hashtags being used as a gateway in prompting social media discussion of products?

Elliott, S. (Aug. 20, 2014). Creating ads during the MTV Video Music Awards. NY Times. Retrieved from:

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6 Responses to The Interactive Consumer

  1. Dominic says:


    You will be hard pressed to find anyone more old school than me, so when social media first hit the scene, I didn’t take to it very much. But as time passed, I realized social media promotes transparency for the consumer. That is, marketers can’t play as many games as they did in the past. For example, if a product does not do what it claims to do, the ensuing social media discussion brings to light the reality about a product. So as far as hashtags being as a gateway to provoke discussion, I love it. Nowadays, it’s put up or shut up time, if you have a good product it can be promoted easier than in the past, if you don’t, social media will expose you. To me it’s a more fair day in marketing.

    Lastly, using real time events in conjunction with a social media platform, is the perfect example of integrated marketing. I’m surprised more marketers don’t employ this strategy. I actually watch “The Voice”, and one of the things I get a kick out of, is the tweets at the bottom of my TV screen. I’m a social media groupie, not because half of my friends inappropriately use it to tell me where they are eating; rather I love it because marketers have to work to further brand loyalty with their target audience.

  2. Theodore says:

    If developed and executed well, it’s a smart, if not even more so, necessary measure for an integrated marketing communication campaign. It’s a strategic method of promotion that allows a company/organization to measure and also monitor –in real time, the effectiveness of their efforts. I imagine there is a dedicated team actively observing, supervising, and examining the use of the selected hashtag at, and during, its actual “deployment.” Of course, there could possibly be some detrimental content created; however, the reaction to, use of, and additional quality content possibly created from the joint-live promotion is #toogood to pass up.

  3. Chanel says:

    I had brought up The Voice in a previous post and looked upon it as a perfect example of social media integration with live television. I agree with the above comments and if done in the right way, can totally take a campaign to the next level. Hashtags can be overused….I feel like the Voice is actually pretty careful with this but utilize hashtags in order to “vote” for the contestant of your choice which is pretty smart. I believe this will definitely be the future (if not the present already) where social media integration with live events will become just an expectation at this point. Reminds me of the the live session with Mich Mathews and how she discussed the upcoming importance of social and mobile…and how we now need to start with the social/mobile element of the campaign first.

  4. Sarah Nettinga says:

    The problem with the social media technology that has been employed on shows like the Voice or the Today Show or other interactive formats is that it gives the audience the false perception that these comments are unfiltered. Unfortunately, the producer are still guiding the audience’s perception and storyline to work for the company that is producing the show or its advertisers. I forget the name of the company that filters the tweets for broadcast but how the technology works is that you tweet in the information about the awards show or sports broadcast in hopes that it will be seen and recognized as valuable input. The producer then see a stream of tweets with subject matter that they want and are looking for and they select them real time. The audience thinks … wow people love that brand or they love what they are seeing because the tweets say that. Unfortunately, the bad comments or undesirable ones are filtered out. So, it real is just a more impactful way of promoting what the show or company behind the event wants. Not reality at all. It is another way to trick the consumer into loving a moment that they don’t love at all. Persuading them with peers. Brilliant, but not at all as authentic as everyone would like to believe.


  5. Dinah Chen says:

    Hi Danielle,

    Love your post! Although young-ish, I am not really a social media person. It’s only because I recently stumbled at social media marketing so have got a rising interest in studying this marketing tool. I personally have no idea what’s the initial intention for the hastag, but it’s definitely a crucial tool that can’t be ignored in any kind of marketing campaign and I feel it’s an efficient way to take use of a live event for an advertising purpose. The spotlights gathered by the live event largely reduces the cost and efforts spent on attracting eyeballs. The only concern is if the core message the live event delivered runs hand in hand with the brand’s image and core value. If so, why not leveraging an external force to enhance your own power? It’s cost and energy saving.

  6. Graham says:

    Hey Danielle, I love the idea of using live events to engage more with consumers. In fact, this is what my practicum is on. I used to work with the company that managed the text to vote for American Idol but I think the real fun happens at the event. We’re seeing a lot of this type of interaction with geofences for targeted SMS and push campaigns, in addition to social media. I think hashtags are fun, anything that helps a good business I’m for though. Since artists and concerts are so alluring I imagine that it’s easy to create hashtags and get people talking about events. Someone might argue though that if everyone is tweeting or instagraming your events maybe they are missing out on some of the experience. It could also be argued that they are getting more experience. I’ll doing some leg work towards launching a startup next semester and it will actually aim to use this sort of interaction to further engage event attendees with their environment. While I don’t think it’s always a good idea to use a real event to market a service/product I do believe that if you’re having an event interactivity across social and mobile platforms may be key. Great post!