Case Study #4: Going Crazy for Coco

Anybody who knows me knows that I am very much Team Coco. After interning with “CONAN” in Los Angeles and New York, I have developed an even greater fondness for the show than I had before. While I have always admired Conan’s personality and his ability to interview guests and entertain an audience, it’s only until recently that I’ve started to analyze the many facets incorporated in the production.

In this day and age, airing a TV show to hoards of fans around the country doesn’t suffice in terms of engagement. Yes, some argue that it’s sad TV is no longer “traditional” TV, but that’s the way of the world. In order to stay afloat in the industry, it behooves productions to be on the cutting edge of community engagement.

Fortunately for “CONAN”, it comes easily to them. Team Coco, the show’s digital subsidiary, has been around since Conan’s sudden and sad departure from “The Tonight Show.” Originally, Team Coco started as a website and movement in support of Conan as he went through a transition period from leaving NBC, going on tour, and then joining TBS. When the TBS program first aired in November, 2010, Team Coco became the show’s official website. Since Conan’s audience is so young, Team Coco has had a field day in developing digital media ideas. In addition to your run-of-the-mill photos and videos from the show, Team Coco has played off the show’s self-deprecating style of humor and has introduced bits such as the Live Coco Cam. Believe me, it’s hard to explain EXACTLY what it is, so just check it out yourself. Seriously. You NEVER know what’s going to happen. So, hopefully you get the idea. The CONAN audience is young and curious. They very much want to be engaged, and Team Coco definitely delivers.

Just when I thought the website was great at engagement, Team Coco released their smart phone app. In my eyes, nothing was too groundbreaking through the app, but just the fact that they had it spoke wonders. Now, Conan’s fans (who are always on the go), can relive funny moments and get other information without having to open their laptop. Here are some details of the app.

As a fan, I am more than thrilled to see that this app is in existence. In all honesty, in formal Nielsen television ratings, “CONAN”, is not performing too well. However, since TBS has just recently renewed the show through April, 2014, I think they realize that there’s more to this production than formal ratings. Ratings are old-school. Team Coco is far from that. They’re innovative and like to push the envelope. And most of all, they LOVE their fans. That’s why I think getting a mobile app was such a smart move on their part. Interestingly enough, the only late night shows that have mobile apps, are the shows with similar audiences. “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” also has a smart phone app, because many viewers of CONAN and LNJF cross paths in terms of general demographics, lifestyle, etc.

However, Team Coco didn’t stop with just a traditional app. This week, they released a mobile app specifically designed for the iPad and Android tablet devices. At first glance, nothing stands out, but this app is much more integrated than the normal smart phone app. In a demonstration on Thursday night’s show, Conan and Andy Richter explained how the big USP for the app is its ability to give fans to have the CONAN experience on two separate screens. While you’re watching the show on your TV or laptop, you can view behind the scenes features that are exclusive to the tablet app. TIME TO RAISE THE COOLNESS FACTOR. Seriously, I’m pretty up-to-date on the latest tech news and even I thought this was awesome. Through the tablet’s microphone, the app listens to the show’s audio, determines the part of the show you’re viewing and then subsequently brings you to the part of the app with all relevant photos, videos and out takes from that segment. Wow.

 Team Coco saw a need. And boy, have they addressed it. That’s what marketing is all about, isn’t it? Giving the consumer what they want? While a digital outlet of a television show is not responsible for traditional marketing, it does, in fact, play a crucial role. With Conan’s target audience sitting in the 18-45 range, word-of-mouth is huge. This generation is on the go. They’re active and they’re ALWAYS communicating. So if you’re out to dinner with a friend and conversation turns to last night’s episode of CONAN, whoops … you’re not by a laptop but showing your friend that comedy bit on your phone will more than suffice. Effective? Yeah, I’d say so.

Team Coco is really on top of their game. I’m more than excited to see what they will come up with next.