Marketing Betty Girls

UPDATED: Andy Cohen is a Marketing Genius (Post #6)
February 25, 2012, 2:54 pm
Filed under: marketing, social networking, Television | Tags: , ,

Many people were first introduced to Andy Cohen when he started hosting the Real Housewives Reunion Shows on Bravo Television.  However, before Cohen was a TV personality, he was a Producer for CBS and later and currently the Senior Vice President of Original Programming & Development at Bravo Television.  He is responsible for several popular reality television shows, like The Real Housewives, and some award-winning shows, such as Project Runway and Top Chef.  Andy directed brazen questions at cast members of the Real Housewives and gained favoritism with Bravo audiences with his wit, sense of humor, and charm.  He doesn’t seem to be afraid to ask tough questions of Bravo celebrities, a.k.a. “bravolebrities,” which is probably because he is also their boss.

Cohen left viewers wanting more, which is when he became the “King of Midnight Fun.”  Watch What’s Happening Live (WWHL) was born, which is a live show that starts with a theme song rapped by a bravolebrity that boasts, “Andy Cohen’s got the 411… He’s the king of late night fun.”  Cohen hosts WWHL at “The Clubhouse” Sun-Thurs at 11 pm Central before a studio audience.  The Clubhouse is a studio with a small stage featuring 60’s decor, a few chairs, shelves full of gifts from fans and guests, and a bar in the corner.  On a typical night on WWHL, Andy interviews one or two celebrity guests, who are often bravolebrities, but are sometimes A-list celebrities that Cohen happens to be friends with.  A bartender, which is sometimes also a bravolebrity from a show like Top Chef, serves Andy and the guests drinks.  During the show, Andy also takes calls from viewers and reads questions from Twitter users tweeted in real time.  He is constantly reminding audience members to, “Tweet me @bravoandy.”  Cohen also takes a poll during every show, inviting viewers to text their vote.  The guests also play silly games, like “Weave or Wig.”  By “silly,” I mean gloriously ridiculous.  For instance, during “Weave or Wig,” guests view photos of stars and try to determine whether they are wearing a weave or wig.  Often the intent is to get guests to poke fun at bravolebrities, which is all in good fun.

What I love about Andy Cohen is his personality, which is a combination of humor, wit, mischievousness, honesty, and charm.  He makes being bad feel good.  By “being bad,” I mean enjoying some light ridicule and gossip, usually directed at Bravo reality stars, which really doesn’t count as being mean-spirited since they signed up for it, at least that’s what I tell myself.  Andy will say something snarky or ask a leading question, but then he smiles and all is forgiven because he has that innocent boyish smile on his face.  It’s as if he just said something shocking to get a reaction out of his mother and he is reveling in the moment just before her reaction.  It’s no surprise that Cohen was voted most talkative and biggest gossip in high school.

Okay, back to “Andy Cohen is a Marketing Genius.”  He is such because he uses his greatest strength, his magnetic personality, to market his product, reality television shows.  He markets his product through hosting WWHL and reunion shows, which are products in themselves.  It’s a cyclical money-making machine.  He also uses social media like no one else on television.  Since Andy’s known for being a little naughty, managing his image may not be as difficult as it is for a politician.  He is expected to say controversial things.  As a TV personality, Cohen is also open about who he is.  For instance, everyone knows Andy is Jewish, hence his “Mazel of the Week” segment on WWHL.  They also know he is a homosexual.  Cohen is not necessarily a topic of the shows he hosts, but who he is comes out in conversation.  For instance,  during a reunion, Cohen criticized a New Jersey housewife’s husband for using the word “gay” as an insult.  Regardless of his sexuality, Cohen had a right to criticize the homophobic behavior of the cast member’s husband.  Nonetheless, since Cohen’s sexuality was known, it made the moment seem more personal to the audience.  Cohen also jokes about his sexuality (in a non-derogatory way) the same way he jokes about everything else.  He might ask aloud, “Am I straight today?,” after commenting on the attractiveness of a female guest.  The fact that Cohen knows when to be serious and when not to take life so seriously is part of his appeal.

Although Cohen is not shy about telling people who he is, he doesn’t reveal a lot about his private life, understandably so considering that his job is to market the private lives of his employees.  However, that may change since he now has a book deal.  It seems that there is truly no end to Cohen’s potential in the entertainment industry.  There is no doubt that there is pure genius behind his happy-go-lucky personality.  I believe Andy Cohen will continue to entertain us through multiple mediums and have success for years to come.

UPDATE: My blogs automatically get tweeted, but I also “paged” Andy Cohen and let him know I blogged about him.  He tweeted me back below 🙂  Love him even more now.

To Facebook or not to Facebook? Post #2
January 13, 2012, 11:09 pm
Filed under: social networking | Tags: , ,

To Facebook or not to Facebook?  That is the question.  Most of your friends are doing it.  You have control over what you post and even what you see on Facebook, so why not?

The fact that your friends can post and tag an embarrassing photo of you and that your friends will see it on their wall and your profile until you untag it is annoying, but is that reason enough to shy away?  A recent development is that you can’t even completely untag yourself anymore.  You can only untag yourself from your own profile.  You will still be tagged in the photo on your friend’s profile, which your mutual friends will see.

Unfortunately, an ego bruised by a bad photo is not the only thing at stake.  An ill-advised post could put your job at risk.  For instance, if you work at a large accounting firm or law firm, you probably shouldn’t badmouth a company or public person in a post.  That company or person could be a client.  If you have to check before you post, you are probably better off skipping the negative post and focusing on the positive.

If you are going to friend a co-worker, you ought to choose wisely.  Your co-workers could be sharing your profile with your other co-workers or higher-ups.  Perhaps you have nothing to hide, but if you are going to friend co-workers, you may want to take down or make those vacation photos private.  You probably don’t want your employer to see you in a bikini… for obvious reasons.

Privacy issues are probably of the highest concern when considering using Facebook.  While reading a blog on such issues, I came across the saying, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer.  You’re the product being sold.”

If you are a Facebook user, Facebook is now monitoring you on websites other than their own. You might notice that if you visit a particular blog or website that you’ll see your Facebook profile image and a “like” button at the bottom.  Perplexing, right?  I can’t even begin to explain it, but I understand that it means that I’m being watched and information about me is being gathered and shared.  Nik Cubrilovic explains how FB uses cookies to track its users.  FB used to track users even when they were logged off, but after Cubrilovic’s original blog regarding this issue, FB Engineers “issued a fix.”  It’s good to know they are addressing public concerns.

One day I noted that Pandora was showing my FB info and telling me when one of my FB friends also liked a song that I liked.  I never “opted in,” but this is what I saw in my settings:

Needless to say, I changed my Pandora settings right away!  There isn’t always an obvious way to “opt out” on other sites.

I “like” Facebooking, so I don’t intend on shutting down my profile just yet.  However, I do value my privacy, so I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open and continuing to contemplate whether my need to socialize outweighs my need for privacy.  Right now, it obviously does.

Does your need to socialize outweigh your need for privacy?