Maxim #3: Create a Story of Controversy to Capture the Media.
While the latest episode of The Biggest Loser may not be creating controversy in the media, it certainly is amongst its viewers. Which in our digital age, is even more important. No amount of media coverage or strategic ads will get someone to watch the next episode faster than a friend's Facebook status update about the latest show controversy.
So, if you haven't seen the episode, as usual the producers decided to throw a wrench into the show. The contestants compete in a 5k with their finishing times deciding the order in which they can choose their trainers, either Bob and Jillian or the two new trainers. Unfortunately, Arthur, the season's heaviest contestant, weighing in around 400 lbs even after the weigh in, gets stuck on the Red Team with the new trainers. And for some reason, this team has bonded to the point that they consider themselves a "family." While they claim they aren't game playing, I'd beg to differ.
As luck would have it, Bob and Jillian's team of all females beats out a team packed with heavyweight male contenders. And despite Bob and Jillian's pleas (you know it's serious when Jillian tears up and pleads to have a contestant stay), the Red team decides to vote off Arthur even though one of their own family members has only about 30 lbs at most left to lose. Watch Arthur's elimination.
Brilliant move by the producers? You decide.
As of this moment, 3,321 comments have been posted on the Facebook status regarding this episode alone. Comments such as:
Leslie Peters: Sad that the red team wouldn't help the heaviest person lose more weight and get healthier. Some people are there to play the game, and some people are there to change their lives and the lives of others.
Rachel Paulson: I won't be watching anymore this season. I am sick of the game playing when someone's life is at stake. I hope the red team keeps failing miserably.
Wanda Mitchell: Yes, he did. But knowing TV...they love us to be mad at anyone...just to keep publicity going....It's so sad, because the show is the one who made it a game to begin with. yes Arthur needed to stay, but I think he is going to be just fine...Remember , it's the network who made this a game....Who would not play to protect themselves.
Kimberlie Brown I have just finished the episode from last night. I have lost the care to finish watching it now. Aurther needed to stay. Bob and Jillian said it best. Should not have been about "family" or "packs" like it turned out to be. The red team was not thinking that that was aurthurs life they were messing with. He had the most to lose. And needed the help. I am done with this season
What are your thoughts? Is this type of controversy good or bad?
How does this crazy controversial elimination relate to your business?
According to Mark Hughes, author of Buzzmarketing, “stir up some controversy, and the media will follow.” He uses the difference between tennis players Pete Sampras and John McEnroe as examples of how controversy can propel your brand even if it is a personal brand. While both are excellent players, McEnroe's bad boy behavior captured the attention of the media. McEnroe gets buzz that Sampras can’t even begin to touch.
Your brand could use controversy to catapult your web presence ahead of competitors and to top of mind in your market. It’s a way to short-circuit your way to popularity if properly orchestrated. It is better to be known for something – even something controversial – than to not be known at all. Don’t be perpetually lost because you don’t have ideas that spread.
Orchestrate strategic controversy that boosts your brand’s name and opens up doors for exposure and eventually influence within your market.