2017. Resurrecting Zombie Brands: Lessons from Analysis of The Walking Dead Social TV Conversation. @ American Academy of Advertising Conference.

Social television (or “social TV”) is a recent term that has been used to describe the intersection of watching television and communicating and interacting online with social media (Guo and Holmes 2014; Lim, Hwang, Kim, and Biocca 2015). Brands and programmers alike have turned to social TV particularly on Twitter to have viewers become social ambassadors using their online social networks to amplify content and messaging, acquire and retain customers, and build brand affinity (see Nielsen 2014; Epps 2009). As a result, eMarketer (2013) projects $30 billion in social TV spending from 2012 to 2020; programmers and marketers seek to develop strategies to increase engagement, generate buzz, and even users to create their own brand-specific content (Hill 2012). Since social TV is a relatively new phenomenon, scholarly research into this area is just now starting to burgeon. While various aspects have been examined, no research to our knowledge has provided a comprehensive view of the make-up of social TV conversation. Specifically, in order to begin theorizing social TV, an understanding of who/what are the participants involved, how those participants interact, and to what end is necessary. This exploratory research seeks to address this void by providing a snapshot of a social TV conversation through a case study social network analysis and content analysis of social TV chatter surrounding the AMC drama show The Walking Dead, a top social TV show (Nielsen 2016). The study analyzes conversation in terms of (1) who is participating, (2) the dynamics between participants, (3) the structural components of messages, and (4) message strategies employed by various participants.

2017 Hayes, J.L., Graybeal, G.M. & Friedman, A. “RResurrecting Zombie Brands: Lessons from Analysis of The Walking Dead Social TV Conversation.” American Academy of Advertising Conference, Boston, MA.