Jersey Shore, Reality TV, and Audience Engagement.
Introduction: Audience Engagement on Reality TV.• I think, we all agree that Television is in a period of dramatic change. As• the mass audience continues to fragment into ever‐smaller niche• audiences and different communities of interest, and new technologies• shift control over the television viewing experience from network• programmers into the hands of media consumers, televisions traditional business models prove themselves increasingly untenable.• The single most important concept in this new industrial discourse is that of “engagement", a term that has generated a tremendous amount of• debate and disagreement, with television and advertising executives, as well as brought several interesting discussions in this media class.• Thus I like to understand what engagement is, how it works, and what its practical consequences on TV Shows will be, by focusing on Reality TV and• using The Jersey Show as a case study.• Audience Engagement has been key to the success of television for decades. However, there have been issues• in the past few years due to stories of broadcasters have found it difficult to maintain the relationship with their audience. This I believe brings an old problem with new context.
1.Modes of Engagement• “Casting Shirley Partridge: The Reality TV Audience as Talent Scout”• Posted by Mary Beth Haralovich / University of Arizona on November 5th, 2004 9 Comments• Reality television is developing a new force on the creative side of television production as the TV audience joins television executives in the creation of entertainment programming. Bridges between entertainment and audience have always been fundamental to show business, and reality TV is taking audience participation to new heights.• Reality TV has already broken down the distance between audience and performer. Reality TV players (”player” here taken to mean both game player and stage performer) are different from movie and TV stars. The reality TV player is familiar, more ordinary than extraordinary.
Modes of communications such as the phone and letters became outdated and even at that time had their limitations in terms of how program makers could respond to viewers and how quickly. In an attempt to update these models, television executives are attempting to shed televisions long-standing reputation as a passive medium, which emphasized the viewers role as a consumer of television content, but the current Multi medium TV viewing as an active, convenient, and more quality programming.• Based on my literary review, the current discourse on engagement suggests that televisions future now relies on the industrys success recasting it as an active medium, capable of capturing and holding the audiences attention, and effective at generating emotional and financial investment. For example, The Jersey Shore Show:Modes if Audience Engagement This paper seeks to recontextualise key findings fromrecent studies of reality TV audiences in light of insights drawn from across the wider field.It suggests that modes of engagement and response adopted by different reality TVaudiences appear broadly consistent with those identified in relation to a wide variety ofgenres viewed in diverse national contexts, as chartedin the Composite Multi-dimensional Model of audience reception (Michelle 2007).
To sum up my idea: one of the main argumentand claim made by many media industryinsiders, scholars, journalists, and participantsis that the main reason for the success ofReality TV is it’s participatory and engagingfuture of the shows. My final research projectwill review this main argument about RealityTV as a participatory Medium and investigatesevidence in the following three key areas: 1.Modes of Engagement; 2. EngagementPlatform; 3. Engagement Measurement.The method: I will use Jersey Shore as a casestudy and I will pose as one of the Jersey Shorefans and remain engaged until the end of thesemester. Please, note that my findings will beconstantly updated and documented at ourclass Blogsite, www.digitalbydesien.wordpress.com, asDigital Journal Format.
The Jersey Shore Show: Jersey Shore is a reality television series thatpremiered on MTV on December 3, 2009 in the United States. The seriesfollows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the JerseyShore. Season 2 followed the cast escaping the cold northeast winter to MiamiBeach, with Season 3 returning to the Jersey Shore. The fourth season, filmed inItaly, premiered on August 4, 2011. MTV confirmed in June 2011 that Season 5will return to Seaside Heights.The show debuted amid large amounts of controversy regarding the use of thewords "Guido/Guidette," portrayals of Italian Americans stereotypes, andscrutiny from locals because the cast members were not residents of the area.Dubbed a cultural phenomenon, the series has garnered record ratings forMTV, making it the networks most viewed series telecast ever. The series casthas also been credited with introducing unique lexicon and phrases intoAmerican Popular Culture, much like Seinfeld was in the 1990s, it has evenbeen dubbed the Seinfeld of the 2010s, and the University of Chicago hasannounced an academic conference that will examine the show. In 2010, thecast of Jersey Shore was named on Barbara Walters’ 10 Most fascinating Peoplelist. The series has since exported to dozens of countries worldwide.
Instant celebrity: Reality television has the potential to turn its participants intonational Celebrities, at least for a short period. Many shows such as Survivor, BigBrother, and Jersey Shore have made at least temporary celebrities out of theirparticipants; some participants have then been able to parlay this fame into media orother careers. Here, it is important to note that there has been some critics againstReality TV has been made, such as, "Reality" as misnomer. Some also suggested thatthe realty shows take place in unreal environments. Reality casting can generate critique of social categories and assumptions and playersask the audience to recognize the types that they embody and to disengagepreconceptions about stereotypes.
The Cast• Angelina Pivarnick: Season1 and 2 from Staten Island, New York, Polish-Italian American Pivarnick is a New York City bartender. She starts out the season with a serious relationship at home, but the two break up in episode 3, which indirectly leads to her eviction from the shore house after refusing to work her shift in the T-shirt shop.• Pivarnik again departed the house during Season 2, after violent confrontations with Mike and Nicole. She did not return for Season 3. She calls herself the "Kim Kardasian of Staten Island," but is mocked by other cast members as the "Staten Island dump" or the "Rob Kardashian of Staten Island.
Deena Nicole Catese, Season 3-present New Egypt, New Jersey, Italian American Cortese, a longtime friendof Polizzi, had originally auditioned for season 1 and been rejected. She eventuallyjoins the cast starting in season 3. She describes herself as a "blastJennifer Farley"JWoww" Franklin Square, New York Irish-Spanish American Farley is a graphicdesigner and club promoter from Franklin Square, New York. During the castingprocess, she states, "I thought the guys would be enormous and really mean, and Ithought the girls would be catty and overdone." She enters the shore house with asteady relationship at home but cheats on her boyfriend with castmate DelVecchio andends her relationship in season 3 episode 4 for different reasons. Farley has had breastaugmentation surgery, which she got as a birthday present to herself just beforeturning 21.Michael Sorrentino"The Situation" Staten Island, New York Italian American Sorrentino, an assistantmanager of a fitness center in Staten Island, develops an attraction towardsGiancola, which does not come into fruition when she becomes interested in fellowcastmate Ortiz-Magro. Sorrentino worked as an exotic dancer in 2004. In the 2010season of Dancing with the Stars, he partnered with Karina Smirnoff, but waseliminated in a week.
Nicole Polizzi"Snooki" Marlboro, New York Chilean (adopted by Italian family) and is an aspiringveterinarian technician. She applied to an ad on Facebook that said "Calling all guidosand guidettes," which Polizzi said, "was definitely about my lifestyle." Polizzi earned thenickname "Snooki" in middle school after being the first of her friends to "make out"with a boy. She became the center of controversy when a man punched her in her faceduring a bar confrontation. Polizzi was arrested by Seaside police on July 30, 2010 onpublic intoxication charges, which were later dropped. She previously suffered from aneating disorder in high school.Paul DelVecchio"Pauly D" Johnston, Rhode Island Italian American DelVecchio is a disc jockey fromoutside of Providence. He strikes up a brief romance with fellow castmate Farley but therelationship does not progress. DelVecchio was nominated for the 2010 "Americas BestDJ" competition. Ronnie Ortiz-MagroFrom Bronx, New York Puerto Rican-Italian American Ortiz-Magro is from. He strikes up arelationship with castmate Giancola. Sammi Giancola"Sweetheart" Hazlet, New Jersey Italian American Giancola is from and is recently singleat the start of the series. She attended William Paterson Univercity and was a midfielderon the womens soccer team. Giancola ultimately strikes up a relationship with fellowcastmate Ortiz-Magro in season 1 episode 3.
Vinny Guadagnino Staten Island, New York Sicilian American 21-year-old. Guadagnino comes from atraditional Italian American family in Staten Island A graduate of the Paltz who hadplans to attendlow school if acting did not work out. Guadagnino applied after afriend sent him an application asking for "the orangest, most muscley, spiky-hairedpeople", which Guadagnino filled out "as a joke." Describing first meeting hiscastmates, he says, "I see Pauly and his spiky hair and his whole guido look. Great,they found the most stereotypical kid. Then Snooki seems like a train wreck. But yourealize were all starting this crazy new adventure." Guadagnino is an advocate fordisenfranchised communities including LGBT teens and homeless animals. He hasappeared in a PSA for the It gets Better Project and has rescued and found homes formany animals in his local community. Guadagnino guest stars in The Hard Times of RJBerger in episode, "Cousin Vinny" on March 28, 2011.
Controversy of Jersey Shore:MTV received criticism from Italian American organizations for the way in which theymarketed the show, as it liberally used the word Guido to describe the cast members. Theterm guido is generally regarded as an ethnic slur when referring to Italians and ItalianAmericans. One promotion stated that the show was to follow, "eight of thehottest, tannest, craziest Guidos," while yet another advertisement stated, "[the show]exposes one of the tri-state areas most misunderstood species... the GUIDO. Yes, they reallydo exist! Our Guidos and Guidettes will move into the ultimate beach house rental andindulge in everything the Seaside Heights, New Jersey scene has to offer." Cast membersSnooki and Jwow are not ethnically Italian. Snooki is Chilean, but was adopted as an infantby Italian American parents. Jwow is Irish and Spanish.Prior to the series debut, UNICO NATIONAL formally requested that MTV cancel the show. Ina letter to the network, UNICO called the show a "...direct, deliberate and disgraceful attackon Italian Americans..." UNICO National President Andre DiMino said in a statement "MTVhas festooned the bordello-like house set with Italian flags and green, white and red mapsof New Jersey while every other cutaway shot is of Italian signs and symbols. They areblatantly as well as subliminally bashing Italian-Americans with every technique possible..."Around this time, other Italian-American organizations joined the fight, including the NIAFthe Order Sons of Italy and the internet watch-dog Italian Aware.MTV responded to the controversy by issuing a press release which stated in part, "theItalian-American cast takes pride in their ethnicity. We understand that this show is notintended for every audience and depicts just one aspect of youth culture." Since the calls forthe shows removal, several sponsors have requested that their ads not be aired during theshow. These sponsors include Dell, Dominos and American Family Insurance.
Episodes:Jersey_Shore_episodes First Last Season EEp # airdate airdate Decemb January Seson1 9 er 3, 21, 2010 2009 S July 29, October Season 13 2010 21, 2010 1 S Season January March 13 3 6, 2011 24, 2011 Season August 4, October 12 4 2011 20, 2011 S Season TBA 5
http://www.mtv.com/shows/jersey_shore/season_4/series.jhtml Season August October 12 4 4, 2011 20, 2011
Blogore , “Sanjay “Social Media & TV – A Match Made in Heaven” ( July 22, 2011 )“The social networks have been a god-send to the TV networks and producers. Despitewhat you might think, about old media being over-shadowed by ‘new media’, the newis actually helping the old out. Twitter and Facebook have been instrumental inproviding television programs with new ways of building relationships with viewers.Providing real time feedback not only when a program is on-air but all dayeveryday, tapping in the communication addictions within us all.”“ This thesis argues that televisions future as an engagement medium relies not oninventing new methodologies that define engagement in terms of quantifiableaudience behaviors and attitudes, but instead in a new conceptual model oftelevision, better suited to a multi platform media environment and the emergingattention and experience economies, which focuses on the development of televisionprograms that extend beyond the television set. Such a model must understand television not as a method for aggregating audiencesthat can be sold to advertisers, but as a medium that draws upon mediaplatforms, content, products, activities and social spaces to provide audiences with arange of opportunities to engage with television content. Accordingly, this thesis offersa framework for thinking about viewer engagement as the range of opportunities andactivities that become possible when drawing upon an expanded, multi-platformconception of the modern television text. Applying this framework to the innovativeand experimental textual extensions developed around ABCs Lost, the thesis indicatesboth the challenges and opportunities that emerge as television becomes anengagement medium.” (Gloto Co-Founder and CEO Eric Con)
2. Engagement Platform: Maximizing Audience Engagement on The Jersey Show:• How to engage customers with content through social media, websites, smartphones, and tablets, whenever or wherever it is aired Stations can boost their audience engagement and even sponsorship revenues with the Twitter.• Mobile, Social Integral to TV Audience Engagement – Adrants :Audiences are watching TV, streaming video on the web and doing mobile “check-ins” on the go. How can you be sure your message is impacting the right audience on the right platform in the right place at the right time?
Jersey Shore Platforms:• Jersey Shore fan club• Jersey Shore Fan- site• Jersey Shore fan- fiction Drama/Romance• Jersey Shore Quiz• Jersey Shore Game…
Audiences are watching TV, streaming video on the web and doing mobile “check-ins” on the go.How can you be sure your message is impacting the right audience on the right platform in the right place at the right time?Twitter is over capacity . Please wait a moment and try again. For more information, check out Twitter Status »
The Jersey Shore Facebook.
Jersey Shore fan club:jerseryshoresource.net: “The Number One Fan-site et for MTV’s Jersey Shore Show.Jersey Shore Fan-site: Welcome tojerseyshorecentral.com, your “number onesource for everything jersey shore. We post all the latest news on our favorite castmembers.”fanfiction Shore fan-fiction: Drama/Romancejersey-shore-quiz Shore QuizJersey Shore Games Shore Game…
Findings: Evaluate the role of advertising. Limited promotion displayed on mobile and web. Audience Measurement Relevancy:
3.Measuring Audience Engagement:Audiences are watching TV, streaming video on the web and doing mobile “check-ins” on the go. Howcan you be sure your message is impacting the right audience on the right platform in the right place atthe right time?• Additional Engagement Metrics:• Depending on how your company or brand is engaging in social media, there may be other metrics that should be factored into audience engagement. The additional metrics will likely come from the various social media channels that are outside of the ones listed above. These could include Diggs, Stumble Upon likes, LinkedIn group activity or followers, social bookmarks,…
Measuring Audience Engagement in Social MediaNathan Linnell, June 28, 2010 0 CommentsEngaging with an audience is at the core of any company or brands objectives for takingpart in social media, even if its not one of the ultimate goals of their social mediaprogram. The ultimate goal may be sales, sign-ups, increased customer satisfaction, orany number of other goals, but audience engagement will always play a crucial role inattaining those goals.Audience engagement is likely at the core of every good social media program, sounderstanding how to measure it is essential. Because there arent any standards orwidely accepted calculations for audience engagement, or for that matter most socialmedia metrics, there ends up being differing definitions, depending on who you ask.The metrics listed below are by no means an exhaustive list, because the type of socialmedia program thats being run will likely factor into what metrics are used for theaudience engagement calculation. For example, if YouTube isnt part of the social mediacampaign, then YouTube engagement metrics isnt going to be applicable.Each of the metrics below can also be used in other calculations to get even greaterinsights, but for the purpose of this column, Ill stick to using them as part of a totalaudience engagement metric.
Twitter RetweetsSimply looking at the volume of tweets yourcompany or brand puts out is fairlymeaningless because you generally want toengage your audience and not broadcast tothem. Because of that, looking at the numberof retweets will begin to shed light on therelevancy of your tweets in the eyes of youraudience and allow you to understand whatgets your audience engaging with yourcompany or brand.Twitter @TweetsBeyond just showing that they enjoy and getvalue out of your company or brands tweets,an @tweet is a prime example of an audiencemember who has the desire to directly engagewith your company or brand. This is trulywhere an engagement can lead to developingor enhancing a relationship.
YouTube Video InteractionsThis is a metric that is a rollup of videocomments, favorites, and ratings. Similar toFacebook interactions, YouTube videointeractions measure how well your companyor brands videos move viewers beyondwatching a video to then engage with it.YouTube Channel InteractionsAs the name indicates, a YouTube channelinteraction is a similar metric to videointeractions, except it relates to your companyor brand channel as a whole instead of videos.This is again a rollup metric that includeschannel comments and channel favorites. Thismetric gives excellent insights intounderstanding if viewers are moving beyondengaging with just an individual video toinstead making a more personal connection byengaging more at the company or
Social Media Brand MentionsThere are a lot of engagement opportunitiesthat can take place outside the leading socialmedia channels. Measuring these is alsoimportant to understanding the overall level ofaudience engagement thats taking placearound your company or brand.An example would be tracking the number ofengagements that take place in Reality TVShoes, such as The Jersey Show.