Social Media Reality TV

AT&T has developed a reality series called @SummerBreak. Rather than broadcasting episodes on television, the content is being rolled out entirely on social media channels.

The series follows a group of LA kids spending one last summer together before college. @SummerBreak is slated to run for 8-weeks and so far 44 episodes have aired on YouTube, supplemented by posts on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and Facebook content published to AT&T’s brand Page.

Why I’m Curious

I think this is a fun, smart way for AT&T to appeal to a younger demographic via social. They’re leaving no social leaf unturned, as all content is made to live in all the places where their target is. And that target apparently is not watching much TV. According to a Neilsen study cited by the WSJ, “12 to 17 year olds spend significantly less time watching TV than their older peers and more time watching videos on phones”.

AT&T has also considered the short attention span of their target, with each video lasting less than 2min.

As far as promoting the effort to their target, AT&T leveraged a teen influencer: They acquired the show’s Twitter account from Caroline Harkleroad, an avid 19 year old social user who has built a series of Twitter handles that are popular with teens. By the time @SummerBreak launched it already had 88,000 followers.

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