It’s no longer enough for TV’s funny men to get out on there every night, deliver eight minutes of stand-up, and then hope we’re still around after the commercials for more scripted filler before the guests arrive.
If the Conans, the Fallons, the Kimmels and the Colbert’s aren’t producing some viral worthy snippet of content at least once a month, anyone of them could quickly reside in the “Where Are They Now Files” (Leno and Letterman excluded by their own lack of relevance and Stewart gets a pass because he’s Stewart). One can only imagine the tremendous strains this puts on the writing rooms (cue remake of the Larry Sanders Show).
But, advertisers want eye-balls. So if any one of these guys are getting said eyeballs, both in real time, and in the days and weeks ahead, well, that suddenly becomes the media buyers norm.
The conversations go something like this:
NBC MEDIA SALES GUY: Have you seen what Fallon is doing with the toy instruments. That Xylophone is bringing us 12 million Youtube views everytime he busts it out. Boom!
JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Hm, that seems pretty good.
VIACOM MEDIA SALES GUY: Yeah, if you like your audience going to Youtube for content. We like em at ComedyCentral.com. Colbert dancing around to Get Lucky brings us 1.5 million views. Basic cable, brah!
JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Is that better? I’m confused.
ABC MEDIA SALES GUY: Kimmel’s got the time slot and the network. And now he’s got all of Kanye’s followers.
JACK LINKS MEDIA BUYER: Wait. Kanye’s got a show?
So for all you advertising creatives out there, like Self, just remember, your clients only expect something viral like, every month, or so. These guys have to do it every night.