When you hear the phrase, “The Bachelor”, what images are conjured in your mind? For us, the most prominent symbols of the series are red roses and Osher Gunsberg (formerly known quite simply as Andy G - but that’s a whole other controversy.). Second to that, it’s the bad fake tans, the tears, and the spike in the general Australian public’s collective twitter commentary on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, possibly fuelled by wine on the couch with our closest friends and family. What most of us don’t really think about is the incredibly valuable brand insights and marketing lessons the series has to teach us. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t matter; it still serves an interesting educational purpose. Roses may wither, but after half a decade, "The Bachelor" franchise hasn't lost its bloom.
The show itself is a marketing goldmine. The quest for love, smothered in manipulated drama, appeals to the hopeless romantics (definitely not us, *gulp*), or provides an endless parade of judge worthy material for the cynics. It’s hard to deny the vapid nature of the show itself, but what the show has done with its social media offers is unavoidably astonishing, and holds a lot of interesting lessons. That idea or story line of “looking for love” is a relatable one, and one that every human has been or will go through at some point. It’s an infallible example for the power of storytelling, and what that can do for a brand. It must be working; the series is hardly showing signs of waivering, with 828,000 metro viewers reportedly tuning into the first episode alone. The episode achieved the highest share ever for a Bachelor launch. Ratings throughout the season have remained strong, often beating out other prime-time shows and capturing the nation’s attention not just on television, but also on Twitter and social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The show has spearheaded an entirely new entity of social media influencers alone - the former contestants. These former contestants, many of whom have Instagram followings that deep dive into the hundreds of thousands, have as much reach and impact with their paid partnerships on social media as other established influencers. Whether or not you agree ethically with the value in their posting is again - neither here nor there - but it’s undeniable that brands have taken notice. If you follow reality TV stars on Instagram, it’s near impossible to open Instagram without seeing a promotion for a teeth whitening kit on any given day.
Nick Cummins didn’t exactly end up as Australia’s Bachelor sweetheart, but he scored pretty well with the brands.
Contestants seemingly rebrand themselves on social media when the show begins, and all follow a set posting pattern. As the show wears on, the accounts gain traction (and followers), and the Bachelor’s very own, very niche social media brand is strengthened for another 6 months. Some fan favourite girls from this season, such as Elly Miles and Chelsie McLeod, have gained 30k+ followers in just a few short weeks. Branching out from “The Bachelor Family Tree”, we’ll begin to see the contests build their own online identities. It’s through this that brands come to identify an untapped market of influencers who are relatable on a different level - and it’s because the Australian public has seen these people through more than just their phone screens. They’ve all watched as they’ve embarrassed themselves, stepped on each others toes, become hopelessly endearing, or worn their hearts on their sleeves.
What we’re really trying to say here is that as much as we love to hate it, The Bachelor is undeniably relatable; it tells an excellent story, and the Australian public, big saps that we are - love to suck it up. As easy as it may be to criticize the superficial and manipulated show of The Bachelor, it is equally easy to see how the clever producers have listened to their audience and embraced what we all wanted: drama. The series understands the connection between storytelling and brand identity in a way we didn’t even realise we were a part of. Collaborative Marketing believes in the power of storytelling too, so if you’ll accept our rose, we’d love to have a conversation about how you and your business can utilise your story to strengthen your brand’s identity. Simply drop a line (or send it via Osher mail) to firstname.lastname@example.org.