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Reality Bites

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Mark Burnett is moving his reality expertise in a slightly different direction (but not really). Contestants on his new CBS reality show will have to write and perform jingles for new products and sometimes just update old jingles. It will be done in the vein of American Idol or America’s Got Talent where they’ll have to satisfy the judges with their “talent and wit” or else be voted off. The grand prize is $100,000 and an advertising contract.

I’d been hearing about this reality show,”Jingles”, for awhile now. There was speculation about whether or not it would actually happen. Then there was a scheduled air date in July. Then they put the kibosh on it because they didn’t feel they promoted it well enough. Now it’s back in play with all judges in place, but no official airdate.

The judges are Ex-Walmart Exec Julie Roehm, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Gene Simmons. There is some concern that Ms. Roehm’s involvement will leave marketers who sell goods through Wal-Mart reluctant to include their brands into the show. So there is your first hurdle, considering almost all marketers sell goods at Walmart. If all those marketers pull out, the show’s contestants will be left writing jingles about sex toys and used cars. Although that could be really interesting.

I just don’t this this type of show will work. It will produce a few good laughs and maybe a funny spot or two. And sure it will give these brands some exposure, but I don’t see an entire brand being built on the backs of a reality show. Especially with reality tv’s formula of picking talent that may not be the best at what they do, but are nice to look at. And let’s face it, advertising is dramatic, but not always fun to watch. Here’s hoping the show is a success. That way all of the recent layoffs in advertising can just get in line at the next casting call.

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