I’m a Celebrity…. and the TV socialites

Yes that’s right, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, one of the nation’s favourite TV programmes is back on our screens this weekend and the hype couldn’t be bigger.

The ITV show which allows the down-to-earth viewer take pleasure in seeing a variety of celebrities have their status, glam teams and Rolex watches taken away from them for up to three weeks in the Australian rain forest is back for its 17th series. Twelve celebrities, half a million bugs, 2.5m mealworms, 500 rats and 20 small crocodiles are all queuing up to make their way into the famous jungle.

Britain’s favourite TV hosts Ant and Dec are back this year to entertain the UK each evening from the 19th November, much to the nation’s delight. The duo have been teasing fans on social media over the past week since they touched down in Australia and it seems social media is a strategy that ITV and the I’m A Celeb team are going to be using to utilise momentum around the show.

Last night ten celebrities were announced on the @ImACelebrity Twitter handle to its 1.14 million followers after weeks of rumours and speculation. The impact that social media platforms such as Twitter has on announcements is brilliant so it’s no surprise that almost immediately #imaceleb was in the top 10 UK trends on Twitter. A 4 minute 30 second video was created to let the viewers meet the celebrities, giving the public a first look into those heading into the jungle and allowing ITV to have control over the content that is pushed out around the UK. It’s also worthwhile noting the selection of ‘celebrities’ who have high social followings, further enhancing the value to the show, but also to the celebs who are wanting to build their own brands.

Another clear marketing strategy that ITV and I’m A Celebrity producers implemented is to encourage viewers to download the I’m A Celebrity app to get exclusive content and within the first two hours the app was trending on the Apple UK trend charts. Revenue is at the forefront of ITV’s mind as a commercial production company meaning the app includes an official sponsor, in app purchases and in app sponsored adverts highlighting their digital marketing strategy of delivering content but still driving revenue.

Reality TV programmes such as X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Great British Bake Off have been dominating the media this year as the shows are able to be made personal to the consumer. Positive and negative sentiment is important for all brands so agencies are now hired to measure both in every tweet, Facebook post or Instagram comment and I’m a Celeb will be no different, helping them feedback to advertisers and constantly improve their strategies.

When the show began in 2002 the line-up would’ve have been announced via a national newspaper in the UK. Now, things couldn’t be more different due to the modernisation of media. This works both positively and negatively for brands, however the new strategy allows ITV to take ownership of when the news announced, and exactly what they release to media around the UK.

Is this the best way to do it? Yes. Digitilisation is part of the UK’s everyday lives therefore many now resort to social media to find out news, join conversation and follow trends meaning it’s important for brands to have that two-way communication process. However for those not up to date with modern technology, print media still plays a key role with national newspapers using twitter as a news source and spreading the story across the UK to those not on social media, but also driving continuous engagement.

We used to all sit down as a nation and watch landmark TV shows like Big Brother or X Factor one night of the week but now channels are being rivalled by boxsets and companies such as Netflix so are competing for the viewers’ attention more than ever. The strategy to always be front of mind and on your phones ensures it will still be the most watched programme. Come Sunday, we wonder what celebrity, critter or exotic animal will be trending Twitter in the UK!


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