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Yvonne Kai

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Desolation: Stories
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Viral Marketing for Entourage
By Yvonne Kai
Monday, December 25, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A way to use viral marketing for hit TV series Entourage in the Toronto market.

Entourage is a hit comedy series on HBO because of its association with lifestyle products and the natural conversations generated from its growing fan base. Creative techniques that encourage and simplify sharing include using SMS, blogs, and MSN. Entourage exemplifies a key word of mouth principle by avoiding stealth marketing instead encouraging and supporting natural conversations with full disclosure.
To begin, the energy and attitude of the series invites viewers to venture with Vince and his entourage in their adventures in Hollywood. The viewers are in turn part of the entourage, as they vicariously partake in each episode. The four friends display distinct differences and create typecasts for viewers to empathize with. The appeal of the endless possibilities of what might happen next keep consumers of Entourage coming back for more. Secondly, Entourage extends into lifestyle and cultural references that pertain to the everyday lives of its consumers. The best example of this is The fan base easily exceeds 50000 and is growing daily. Being a 'friend' of this site allows you to post comments in a forum type atmosphere and have discussions with other fans of the series. This emotive environment creates an online community where discussion is encouraged which is empowering for the consumers. In relation to the Dell example discussed in the article , focusing on empowering the consumer through active participation, it will result in better satisfaction than aggressive advertising. Entourage has become more than a TV show because of the opportunity to involve its viewers. People who dream of being a celebrity will empathize with the adventures this show honestly portrays. The association with Xbox 360 featured in the show also generates buzz for both the show and the product. Viewers with an Xbox 360 were offered exclusive downloadable content. Also, placement of pop song "Peace Frog" in the show has resulted in numerous radio requests and cross buzz to be created with its relation. Entourage allows its consumers to be happy, interested and this results in them naturally discussing the show or elements of the show relevant to their own experiences and aspirations.

In order to increase consumer word of mouth for Entourage in the Toronto market, we must exploit common behaviours of its viewers. Using underlying motives such as fame and popularity, we can give the actor and singer "wannabes" a chance to partake in an "Entourage" weekend. Viral marketing through SMS contests, online contests and 3-minute clips of mobile videos of his/her Entourage qualifies them a chance to win a week trip to Hollywood and guest star in an episode! By quantifying the number of online hits, contest entries and submissions, it will indicate the success of word of mouth. Also surveying the "Vince" of the group submissions, we can understand the social behaviours and general attitude of the ultimate Entourage fan. From the contest, finalists will be selected and they will have to be voted for to win this opportunity. Their votes will be from friends, fans, and online participants. It will be necessary for the Entourage Ultimate fan to talk about the show and contest and in return be voted for. The votes may come in a form of a nomination to ensure that the voter understands the purpose of the "WOMunit" of his or her vote.

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