Talk shows offer one of the fastest, most affordable and engaging platforms to reach and influence the female TV viewer.
The primary talk show viewer is a woman 25 to 54 + years of age, with a household income of $70k with niche household incomes ranging over six figures.
Talk shows shoot and air typically the same day or within two weeks, resulting in one of the fastest on-air turnaround options.
Beyond the obvious on-air integration exposure, these brand partnerships result in impactful social media and PR content assets due to the perceived celebrity endorsement by show hosts like Ellen DeGeneres, Meredith Vieira or Queen Latifah.
Talk shows generate sales and create chatter online, but if a brand manager doesn’t put a plan in place or have the education and knowledge of what options exist, then the impact is degraded.
Follow this 8 step roadmap to ensure Talk Show partnership success!
1. Do The Research
Not every talk show is equal to the other, and brand managers should do their research to determine which productions offer the right fit. Look at the demographic of the show, distribution and audience reach, time slot and overall storyline content. Make sure the show organically fits with the brand.
Talk show integration segments occur every week, and there are also special themed segments such as Mother’s Day, Spring Cleaning, and Dads & Grads, to name a few.
2. Reach Out & Follow Up
When reaching out to the production, the correct point person to speak with will be the integration or segment producer. Come prepared with a quick ironclad story pitch on why the brand’s product is not only unique, but also a great fit for the show. Think outside the box. The producer is looking for a way to break through the clutter and differentiate.
If a charity component fits, build it into the overall pitch.
Have a follow up email already prepared outlining the story just pitched, with images of the brand and a description of the on-air giveaway that will accompany it for audience or individual gifting. Send this immediately following the call while the brand is still top of mind.
Two to five of the same items to be given away will need to be sent to the production for pre-approval once interest is engaged. Create a fun gift presentation in order to stand out and allow the production points an interesting opening experience. For actual day-of giveaways, some productions prefer gift cards that audience members can redeem. The brand will be expected to cover any associated shipping costs. Other productions prefer to have the brand on hand with the audience walking away with the product if the brand is of manageable size. If the item to be given away has several components, they will need to be packaged together.
3. The Price Tag
Talk shows require different fee structures based on the specific show, the on-air and off-air elements included, audience size and reach, and the typical ad rate. Some shows can be secured with straight trade out of audience gifting and no fee. Other talk shows will require a fee ranging from $25,000 and even over $150,000. Often it depends on the category, the ‘cool’ factor of the brand, and the overall value the show is receiving if an audience giveaway is a core component.
Most talk shows have an audience ranging in size from 250 to 450, and expect an audience gift to be valued north of $150.
With the exception of higher integration fees, it will be rare for productions to call out a .com visually on screen, with the possible exception of a lower chyron on screen.
“As Seen On” verbiage will typically require a royalty fee based on where the brand wishes to display the show’s logo, starting at a minimum of $50,000.
4. What To Ask For
The home run integration will include on-air visuals, verbal mentions and specific brand messaging, as well as online giveaway component on the show’s website. A ‘big’ win will include the show posting on its own social platforms a call out about the brand or including in a blog on the show’s website.
Verbal messaging will range from one to two sentences typically, which the brand manager should craft and present. Production may polish the verbiage for a number of reasons – including making it easier for the show host to get the messaging right the first – and only – time around. Simplicity is key. Be sure to phonetically sound out in writing any troublesome brand names, as hosts will not get them right and will need to practice prior to the air date.
Ideally obtain a guarantee of on-screen graphic of a lower chyron with the brand name and/or a messaging point. Sometimes the noise of the audience cheering obliterates the on air messaging. Having another way to get the message seen and heard is important.
Brand managers should seek approval for a social media pre- and after-show post, which will need to have the verbiage cleared by the production.
Approval and additional dollars will be legally needed to post the clip on the brand’s website. As an alternative ask for approval to post a link to the video on the brand’s social media sites, linking to the show’s own website where the content lives.
A short press release should be written by the brand and simply posted online on one of any number of sites that are low cost but great at seeding content out. The goal with the press release is to establish a long term SEO footprint and association to the production and host.
5. Now What, They Want To Move Forward
A very simple word. Contract. Contract! Contract!! Confirm everything. Make sure the brand name is phonetically spelled out, and that each aspect negotiated is included in the contract.
6. Before It Airs
Develop a hashtag that is trackable and share the pre-show approved post along with the airdate.
7. The Shoot
Make sure there is a display that fits the brand’s core messaging. Productions will work with the brand to develop the display, and typically include a sign with logo and product image, along with actual product.
The brand should have a representative on site during the day of shoot, to ensure there is no confusion, to correct mis-pronounced names during a dry run, and to make sure the display is set up with logos facing the camera.
8. Measurable ROI
If a discount code is made available to home viewers with a downloadable coupon, either on air or on the show’s website, tracking becomes extremely easy. Additional options include tracking the integration-specific hashtag and looking for additional social media chatter. An all important aspect is looking at Google Analytics to see website traffic the day of and the days immediately following the integration.
Brand managers typically have enough on their plate dealing with daily job requirements than having the time and resources to negotiate and activate a talk show integration. The easiest way to lay the foundation and develop a successful integration is to engage a seasoned entertainment marketing expert with social media and PR experience to provide guidance and actual activation.