How our longest running drama is teaching the Aussie TV industry new tricks

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

We know that Aussie TV viewers love to Tweet live along with their favourite sports and reality shows from the couch, and drama fans are just the same.

However while viewers of dramas are enthusiastically starting and joining conversations on Twitter about what they are watching, they do so at a different pace from other genres. Generally, viewers of TV dramas like @MadMen_AMC, @GameOfThrones and @WalkingDead_AMC, will check in on Twitter before their show starts, Tweet during ad breaks and then jump in again at the end to discuss what happened in the episode.

@Neighbours, Australia’s longest running drama series, recognised this trend and are leveraging it by driving Twitter conversations with on-air questions about what has just happened on the show before the commercial break.

This is a first for any Australian drama. It’s an impressive innovation from a TV series in its 30th season on air, and shows that the residents of Ramsay Street can still teach the television industry some new tricks.

How it works
During the broadcast of each episode, a conversation-starter question with the #Neighbours hashtag is posed to viewers at each of the three commercial breaks. The same question is also Tweeted during the broadcast from the @Neighbours Twitter account, accompanied by a relevant photo from the storyline.

By focusing the Twitter conversation on a particular plot point, @Neighbours is successfully increasing discussion and engagement around the most interesting stories and characters.

As we know from previous studies, TV viewers who Tweet simultaneously are also less likely to surf away from what they are watching. They also have higher ad recall, brand favourability and intent to purchase, which means that initiatives like this from the producers of @Neighbours can also serve to make TV advertising more effective.

To be part of the conversation, watch @Neighbours on @eleven_tv, look out for the questions at the ad break and jump in using #Neighbours.