Friday, April 23

The Real Housewives

I'll admit it ... I'm a huge fan of The Real Housewives television show on Bravo. NY, Atlanta, OC, NJ ... can't get enough! DC is on the way too.

As I've been watching this season of the New York cast (and I do mean "cast"), I've started to notice that these women are not very good brands.I'm not talking just about their bad behavior per se, I'm referring more to their inconsistent behavior. One minute their nice and likable, and the next they are immature and mean.

Take Jill Zarin for example. I can't tell what she's all about. I can't position her. In prior seasons, she seemed like the mature, rational, secure member of the troupe. After last night's episode and a few prior, she is none of those things.

The point here is about consistency. Brands need to be consistent so that consumers can choose to add them to their lives.These women are all over the place, so I would imagine that managing their brands must be very difficult. As they try to secure endorsement deals (like Jill Zarin's deal with Kodak), I would think that they would want to portray a more consistent, relateable, personable branding. Can't imagine many brands would want to associate with such inconsistency. Too risky perhaps.

But that's just me.

The television show, on the other hand, brilliant. The inconsistency is what makes the show, and that's different because it's what drives the entertainment value. Bravo has created an entire franchise around this concept, that just keeps growing and growing. During last night's NY episode, the way the producers wove in trailers from the upcoming season with the NJ housewives was so engaging. I couldn't leave the tv set.

The Real Housewives has become an entertainment force, something that started with a small group of friends in Orange County! On a small little cable network. It's fun to see how the concept has grown, even if the women are so inconsistent that it drives a marketer like me crazy!

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. This show is my girlfriend's guilty pleasure. And anytime I catch a few minutes of it passing I am disgruntled by how 'unreal' the show is. They are neither housewives or accurate representations of women in NYC. All they do is argue, insinuate negativity and then as small business and brand owners themselves - completely sabotage their characters for the sake of ratings and money.

    I listened to a speech by Danny Meyers at a small business summit hosted by the NY Times and AMEX and when asked the question, "Danny, given your portfolio of restaurants and success, why don't you have a reality TV show?" Danny replied something to the effect, ..."Reality TV that sells is based on unnecessary drama and some unprofessional behavior. My business successes are not based on that kind of environment. That's not how it's done."

    - While the 'housewives' of NYC have their perverse fame, I don't reckon the brand will stick around much longer than the show itself.

    Thanks for posting Jim.

  2. True enough, Rob ... thanks for the commentary!