Thorn Birds

I was reminded last night about the Thorn Birds. The mini-series gripped Ireland in the mid-eigthties, in the same way the JR murder mystery did.  There was a major power outage in Ireland on the night of the final episode.   Every house throughout the country was watching the final show and at the ad break, everyone went out to make a cup of tea, turned on their kettles, and bang: a power outage.  God bless all those Mrs. Doyles.

It made me wonder whether you could have such a phenonmenon today?  The world cup and any soccer game that brings out the Red Devils in Korea seems to have that same mass audience potential, where the entire nation becomes one.  But what else galvanizes an entire nation and as a result offers a huge opportunity for an organization to interact with this mass audience? 

From a communications perspective, the day of placing a hugely successful advert around a melodramatic mini-series like the Thorn Birds are few and far between.  When it comes to brand building you have to hunt out the niche audiences, people who are passionate about specific things, new communities online and so on, and then engage these audiences in dialogue. The consumer has become a lot more sophisticated and has a lot more entertainment options, meaning it’s a lot harder to build your brand, if you don’t follow the new rules.

What’s more I get to post something about Richard Chamberlin.  Finally.


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