Dressed in camouflage and headbands, a crew of 25 social-media managers, strategists, graphic designers and copywriters, were glued to their computers Wednesday night with one goal in mind: get A&E Network's "Duck Dynasty" trending.
Season three of the reality series, which follows the wealthy Robertson family, a gang of Louisiana duck-call makers, premiered last night. A&E was ready to capitalize on the massive growth of the series, which brought in 6.5 million viewers during its season-two finale.
The momentum is nothing to dismiss. With consumers bombarded by a dizzying array of video-entertainment options in these days of Netflix, VOD and iPads, communicating with die-hard aficionados of specific programs and getting them to spread buzz about their favorite is of critical importance to TV networks and production studios. To make these connections stick, more marketers and media outlets are experimenting with so-called "real-time marketing."
Brands like Oreo and JC Penney have piggybacked off tent-pole events like the Super Bowl and Oscars to reach a wide breadth of viewers who are utilizing second-screen devices while watching TV. During the Oscars, marketers used the Twitter hashtag #oscarrtm as a means of discussing memes and graphics marketers deployed.
A&E clearly wants to engage fans and, perhaps even more important, get "Duck Dynasty" on to the radar of those who have never heard of it, said Guy Slattery, exec VP-marketing at A&E. Throughout the night, he pulled up tweets of people asking about the program after they saw it trending on their feed. A&E partnered with Interpublic Group interactive agency R/GA for the social-response effort.
While A&E utilized Facebook and second-screen apps like GetGlue as part of its promotional strategy ahead of the season premiere of "Duck Dynasty," last night of was all about Twitter.
"This is where the in-the-moment conversations are taking place," said Mr. Slattery.