Patria-Kaye Aarons: Magnum wins Curvy-Fluffy clash
In all sincerity, I believe the real winner of the Kitty-Yanique hoopla wasn't even part of the feud.
The real winner was Magnum - both the show and the beverage.
Sometimes, television shows fall into a lull. After 10 seasons of unearthing talent, none of whom have yet exploded to the kind of fame that buys mansions and builds 'set-for-life' wealth, 'Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall', like other talent competitions before it, had become just another song and dance.
Viewership was dwindling and the programme just wasn't on the line-up of must-see TV. Currently, TVJ is airing voting ads showing the highlights of last Saturday's performances. They were nothing to write home about. The point is, especially now when local programming is going head to head with content on cable, for any TV show to have viewership, there has to be real entertainment value. And in the case of 'Magnum', if it isn't coming from the performers, it has to come from somewhere else for the show to survive.
And then last week happened. For whatever reason, the battle of the buxom belles came to a head on live TV. Many thought the confrontation between the media personalities was a publicity stunt. It happens all the time. People fabricate a feud between stars to raise the ratings of the shows and also the relevance of the people involved. It's often a cheap trick used by PR spin doctors to get people interested in watching again.
Apparently this tiff was not crafted in a boardroom, but backstage. Real-life business.
When we get past the girl-on-girl jealousy, role model, time and place, blah-blah-blah narrative, as a PR practitioner, I think Saturday night was genius. 'Magnum Kings and Queens' isn't a family show sponsored by family brands. There's a reason it's late-night television. There's a reason it doesn't have a safe Sunday-evening time slot. It's a dancehall show that encompasses everything about dancehall culture - of which clashing is a part. There was a rebellious grit about Saturday night that felt unscripted and alive.
MILLIONS IN EXPOSURE
My calculation is that the show has received well over J$20 million worth of exposure from the incident. It has generated more memes (my favourite is the duplex sandwich cookie renamed to 'Duplicitous', with Kitty's face on the bag), caricatures, letters to the editor, newspaper articles, airtime on talk radio, and social-media posts than ever before. It inspired video logs by both Dutty Berry and Shebada and produced the most viewed viral video of the show's career. The clip was viewed in Qatar! Qatar!
Most important, it increased the viewership not only on the actual show night but best believe on Saturday, all eyes will be glued to the show to see how this all pans out. That is PR priceless!
Magnum, the drink brand, came out a winner as well. People actually refer to the show wholly and solely by your brand name, so that's already a win.
That's a hurdle many other title sponsors struggle to get over, seemingly 'forcing up themselves' to attach to a show and insisting that they get the recognition they paid top dollars for. 'Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall', to us, is 'Magnum'. And every time the show was mentioned in the past week, you came top of mind. Win for you.
I'd cut the ladies an extra cheque and do one of two things. Fuel the feud and do a Team Kitty six-pack and a Curvy Diva six-pack and see which ones sell better. Or I'd play the unity card and have them make appearances together with top contestants at a couple round-robins and sell Magnum bucket deals. Winnings either way.
The show needed an injection of something. It needed a reason for people to watch again. At least for two weeks, the ladies are giving that reason to people.
The ball is now in the court of the show's producers and the performers. Take the opportunity and ensure that the talent put on display on Saturday is top-notch. Yes, people will come for the passa passa, but use the opportunity to have them stay for some wow performances.
And if you're all about the revenue, I'd throw in an extra voting number on Saturday for people to vote and say who they think won the clash: Fluffy, Curvy or Magnum. Magnum would get my vote.