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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mass Interactive: Robin Sparkle's #1 Fan

NYTimes details an interesting new media meets old media case study similar to the That Girl Emily/Court TV integration of last year.

Summary fact highlights:

The Robin Sparkle's MySpace page was a plant, concocted by the producers of the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” to play off a storyline in the show’s Nov. 20 episode.

During that episode, it was discovered that one of the main characters has an embarrassing childhood secret: her teenage performances as Robin Sparkles. At the moment in the show when a character discovered a video of Sparkles online — 21 minutes into the episode — a streaming video went live on the Sparkles MySpace page, with 3 minutes and 20 seconds of clichéd pop music, big bouncy hair and bad synthesizers, not to mention lyrics like “I’m going to rock your body ’til Canada Day.”
Let's Go To The Mall - Robin Sparkle

By the next morning, the number of “friends” on the Robin Sparkles fan page had jumped from fewer than 100 to more than 5,000, and the video was one of the most viewed on both MySpace and YouTube. More important, the ratings for “How I Met Your Mother” jumped the next week, increasing by more than a million viewers in the age 18-to-34 demographic group. That gave the show, a critical favorite but a middling ratings success, its highest overall ratings of the season.

As of today she has over 6000 MySpace "friends".

An interesting takeaway on how we all may best integrate social media into the the broader marketing schema, one of the show's creators, Carter Bays says “We also don’t want to forget what we’re here to do, which is a television show. Everything we’ve done online — whether it’s Barney’s blog or the Robin Sparkles video — has come organically from something going on in the show. It’s great to have these things out there, but we don’t do them just for the sake of doing them. There has to be a reason.”

I ran a BlogPulse read...

Note that Nov 05 spike for the show's buzz is star Neil Patrick Harris' real life gay revelation. Without that gay reveal, the show's buzz would be fairly flat, the next 2 big spikes for show buzz are Robin Sparks MySpace page related, and subsequent show buzz flattens to mere mentions of the title buried in TV articles. The Robin Sparkle MySpace buzz lowers, yet long tails and keeps on givin' buzz long after airing. This week's spikes are PR pushes to get the creators out there (you know the hustle) and that buzz is mostly centered on re-capping the innovation about the MySpace integration (like this post).

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