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The Greatest Reality Show of Them All

by Leslie Kill on July 24th, 2012
Media Buying, Television Viewership

Full disclosure:  I LOVE the Olympics and I watch exorbitant amounts of television.

Combining these two facts make me the ultimate TV consumer for two weeks in August.



In a summer TV season mired in political ads and the lack of scripted programming, we have no choice, if watching TV, but to choose from an array of reality programming. You name it, it’s out there. We have Love in the Wild, Glass House, J. Wow and Snooki, Master Chef, Wipe Out, American Ninja Warrior, the Bachelorette and my ultimate guilty pleasure, Big Brother. And…that’s just a spattering of what is truly out there. Oh wait…how could I forget American Royalty?…The Kardashians.


The aforementioned reality shows are all warped versions of reality. The situations and scenarios are arranged to create drama, gossip and uncomfortable situations for the individuals participating.


Similarly, the Olympics, a fantastic sporting spectacle, just by the nature of competition, national pride, stories of tragedy and triumph will have drama, its own cast of heroes and villains, and eventually pictures splashed on magazine covers and new Subway spokespeople.


The difference with this reality show is that its cast are people young and old, all shapes and sizes, all ethnicities…all bound by their desire to be champions.  They didn’t get their opportunity because they made a great audition video or are related to a D-Level celebrity. These athletes get one shot, every four years, to showcase a lifetime of hard work.  Their stories are heartbreaking, heart-warming and most importantly REAL.


NBC is banking on this human element, the fact that the games are in London (still basking in the warm afterglow of Will and Kate’s nuptials), and the public’s unquenchable thirst for news and information, via broadcast and online, to boost and improve spending over the 2008 Games.


So far, so good. According to a June 27th article in Adweek, NBC was on track to book nearly $1 billion in ad sales revenue for the 17-day event. All of the inventory is essentially sold out. However, as history indicates, a good deal can still be struck if an advertiser still wants presence in the games.


I don’t know about you, but this reality junkie will be keeping her eyes peeled for Posh and Becks in the stands and for that next defining moment that creates an indelible memory. Whether it be in the pool, on the court or on the balance beam, I can’t wait to be tuned in to see the next Mary Lou, Michael Phelps or Carl Lewis steal the show and inspire the next generation of athletes, or create the next fashion trend. I’m putting you all on style watch!


Leslie Kill

About Leslie Kill

As Associate Media Director for S+A, I take great pride in negotiating, buying, and managing schedules with a sense of ownership and enthusiasm. I have been entrenched in media for a little over 10 years, allowing me the privilege to work with clients and in markets big, small and many places in between. When not firmly planted in front of the TV or computer, I’m playing any number of sports or forcing myself to exercise. I love pop culture, chocolate milk, and carbs. At present, I’m on the lookout for the next great literary trilogy (or perhaps I’ll write it) to become an insanely lucrative movie franchise. Until then, I will try to get through the presidential election with my sanity and all my media schedules in tact.

From → Media Buying

  1. Tina permalink

    Will be tuned in with cocktail in hand, tomorrow July 27th…for opening ceremonies. Can they out-do China? It’ll be nice for a change to see some reality that matters! Life changing reality. May the best athlete win! GAMES ON.

  2. Katie Overton permalink

    As a fellow reality TV Junkie, better words cound not describe the Olympics….the only reality TV program that can get me to cry about… and cheer for an athlete in a town I have never heard of in country I know nothing about.

  3. I never thought of the Olympics as the ultimate in reality…but you are right. My favorite thing about them is the human-interest stories…and rooting for the underdogs!

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