Reality Television

What is our fixation with reality television? America seems to have officially changed their viewing pleasures from scripted television programming to “reality” television. I put the word “reality” in quotes because how real is “reality” television – not very real at all; but to the public, it is.

Yes, “reality” television has swept the nation.  The variety of reality TV available has grown exponentially within the last several years. American Idol really flipped the world on its backside. The many types of shows appeal to a wide range of audiences. From Keeping Up With The Kardashians to Swamp People, form Hoarders to So You Thing You Can Dance, virtually every demographic can be tapped into one of these reality shows.

Not only does this phenomenon give power to a new kind of celebrity, but also gives the public the right to imitate these newfound celebrities because of their “real” actions.  It is honestly scary to think that we give people like Mike “The Situation” celebrity status because of his drunken escapades on the Jersey Shore; however, this new kind of celebrity gives the more traditional actor celebrity a better name considering they are actually earning their status through hard work (e.g., George Clooney).

Another frightening happening is that the people watching these “reality” television shows get younger and younger, especially the ones watching MTV or VHI. These shows do not set good examples for young people because they are still learning. Watching reality television in this case tends to be a bad influence. Imitation of these so-called celebrities leads children to act accordingly. Not only children, but also adults are influenced.

I doubt this phenomenon will end in the near future. There seems to be some sort of “reality” programming on every network.  Some brands are based on this reality concept and the fact that they are adhering to what the public wants makes them strong. You have to actively listen to what your audience likes and “reality” TV is the answer in some cases.

“The Pitch”

It seems that reality television has swept the world. American Idol, The Real World, Mobwives, The Jersey Shore, and so many other shows much like these have captured the minds of viewers everywhere. Production teams have forever changed the television industry because once they hit the jackpot with these concepts as far as what viewers want to watch; they never turned back. Reality TV scripts have stretched far ranging from best singer to grossest hoarder. Finally they have come up with an unscripted television show about pitching a good advertising campaign for a client in a competitive environment.

The television show called “The Pitch,” aired for the first time on AMC on April 30, 2012. This show goes behind the scenes of the high-pressure situations that encompass America’s top creative ad agencies competing to the pitch a new account to one perspective client.  The show airs once a week and each week, two different agencies go head to head as they “pitch.” These agencies only get one week to prepare for each pitch.

The two clients involved in the show right now are Subway and WM (Waste Management) and the four agencies involved are SK+G, the Ad Store, McKinney, and WDCW.

This show is meant to simulate the cut- throat atmosphere of the ad industry and the time constraints agencies have to create fully integrated ad campaigns. In reality, the industry is much like this. Ad agencies compete everyday for that special client’s attention. If they don’t have any clients to work for, they are out of the job, literally. Although, the environment is difficult to navigate through as a creative and a planner, the reward is well worth it in the show and in reality.