To create buzz about the 2012 launch of the KarmaloopTV network (Cfax 9/20), multiplatform retailer Karmaloop asked its urban, tech-savvy 18-34 demo to upload videos and tweet about what they like—and particularly what they don’t like—about what’s on TV today. About 100,000 videos and hundreds of thousands of tweets later, Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe has some interesting data to pour over.
Feedback from the “Reclaim Your TV” marketing campaign revealed that the demo wants to see programming that’s creative, smart, international in focus and representative of youth culture—culturally and ethnically. Many respondents said that shows on TV don’t reflect themselves, their culture or their interests, said Selkoe. “Our group is very multi-racial and multi-ethnic…. the TV doesn’t reflect the reality that this country in 2040 is going to have no majority race.” The message to cable is clear: Time to catch up.
A Demand for Clever
One of Selkoe’s favorite tweets was, “If you want to be 18 and graduating instead of 16 and pregnant, reclaim your TV.” “A lot of people said they don’t want shows that insult their intelligence,” he said, and would prefer programs done “in a more realistic way, or even a way that’s less exploitive and more relevant to them.” Satire is one way to tackle that. One slated show for KarmaloopTV called “Girlhattan” stars two guys in drag, who play two PR girls on a reality show. “It’s a really irreverent, crazy look at reality TV… they’re complete train wrecks.”
Mainstream news—the way it stands—simply won’t cut it for these kids, according to the responses. They’re looking for more world news, and that isn’t being delivered on TV right now, said Selkoe. For instance, take the influence of Asian culture across the demo, whether it’s Anime, Kung-Fu or Manga. “There’s so much influence from Asian culture on our group but yet you don’t see anything reflected on the TV,” he said. “And that’s because they’re communicating online.” They’re establishing those cultural connections and crave more of them—whether or not TV will step up to the plate.