Bravo Wants 'Influentials' Input On Series

Bravo's Season 5/Episode 4 of Project RunwayOne emerging trend in this social-networking, consumer-empowered world is networks looking to build fan affinity and gain insight by soliciting viewers' advice. Bravo is convening a panel where members will offer insight and provide feedback that may influence its future programming and marketing.

Known as the "Influentials," a panel of devoted fans of the pop culture network will weigh in on network series, looking to give Bravo a head's up on what "core fans want." The panelists will be polled regularly and will receive benefits for their time--the opportunity to win prizes and receive behind-the-scenes info.

"The feedback generated from these polls will be used to develop the network's overall strategy for upcoming programming and initiatives," Bravo said.



In addition to the "Influentials," Bravo has a second initiative that also serves as a consumer marketing tool. "B-Hive" aims to "build a network of ambassadors" as fans throw viewing parties, and Bravo inducements may heighten interest.

For example, will offer a sweepstakes that offers attendees a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree--and the opportunity for a "Project Runway" alumnus to join one of their parties. "B-Hive" is launching with "Runway's" season five.

In order to enter, attendees must upload photos from their parties on a "B-Hive" microsite. In the process, they will also submit comments on "Runway" and "their overall viewing experience," giving Bravo another chance to mine fans' opinions.

"B-Hive" will be promoted on-air.

Lisa Hsia, senior vice president of new media and digital strategy, said Bravo is looking to develop a network of "brand ambassadors by word of mouse"--and by heading "directly into the audience's world, Bravo will be able to grow its user base and create programming and content that our audience actually wants, will use and consume."

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