Back in 2009 I wrote a post called Treasure Hunt outlining an idea for an immersive and engaging TV or Web format. I said then that the time was right – but as per usual I was both right and wrong! It was definitely the time to start developing the idea fully – and boy am I a wee bit annoyed that I haven’t done more with it so far – but the time to launch would in fact be now (or more specifically for the pre-school holiday period).
Why now? Well a couple of things are clearer than ever:
>> Smartphones rule: despite all their problems (primary among them a lack of battery life and unreliable connectivity in the “real world”) the connected, GPS enabled phone is king within the target demographic.
>> Social sharing has gone viral: basic as it may seem, the social behaviours of the web that have developed over the last couple of years are here to stay even if the current leaders of the social networks may not last the course.
>> “Every little helps”: in today’s congested and ever changing business world, monetising ideas is becoming increasingly a case of maximising the potential of many different revenue streams rather than focusing on one big (advertising/sponsorship) opportunity – while at the same time keeping the customer proposition simple. An integrated cross-media, multi-platform, multi-audience format would maximise such opportunities.
>> “Talent” based reality shows have passed their sell-by date: After the rise of the talent shows like X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice, we are debatably into the final phase of the celebrity driven variants with Strictly Come Dancing perhaps being the last succesful throw of this particular dice?
>> What next for the Super Producers? Do you really think that Simon Cowell will happily dissapear off into the distance counting his booty from the success of the X-Factor? No, he will want more and has already shown his hand with the less than successful gameshow Red or Black and the downright disasterous Food Glorious Food – trailing (rather than leading) the second coming of the cookery show (with Masterchef and its spinoffs as the undisputed king and The Great British Bakeoff as the undisputed Queen). With both Endemol and Syco needing to get back to becoming genre leaders rather than followers – they need something new and something big and something soon.
And so that brings me back to treasure hunts and the timing being now. Back in 2011, Santa Fe based art dealer and latter day Indiana Jones, Forrest Fenn buried a chest full of his treasures in a secret location and then published his memoirs The Thrill of the Chase that included a poem containing clues to the location of the treasure…
While this format bears a great deal of similiarities to my own – there are a number of vital differences, but one thing is for sure – the hunt is on!