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‘AlDub magic’–marriage of old and new media

01:21 AM October 07, 2015

A clear product of the union of old and new media is the “AlDub” phenomenon gripping the country.

Accidentally or not, GMA 7’s old “Eat Bulaga” franchise has captured the attention of 40 million netizens who are spreading the noontime show’s virality to Twitter heaven. The result of this trimedia and online marriage? A record-breaking 26 million tweets, multimillion-peso advertising contracts for actors Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (Yaya Dub), the courtship of politicians—and a reinvigorated network war.

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All these started when the noontime show got the multitalented Mendoza to be part of the gang (Dabarkads). It was a game-changing move: Mendoza had by then about a million Facebook friends, about a million Twitter followers, and almost 100,000 YouTube subscribers to her site. Mendoza, who had earlier been mostly dubbing actress Kris Aquino, became a Facebook sensation overnight for her Dubsmash compilations, earning her the tag “Queen of Dubsmash.”

By bringing Mendoza into its “Kalye Serye” segment, “Eat Bulaga” also ensnared her Facebook friends, Twitter followers and YouTube subscribers, who made their online idol’s television episodes go viral. This is the online science behind the success of the onscreen romance between Mendoza and Richards.

In essence, the noontime show stumbled on the Holy Grail that makes modern-day communications tick—the fusion of traditional media (print, television, radio) and social media. Individually, the old and new communications platforms are strong, with each commanding millions in reach; the fusion of the two brings about the Big Bang in modern-day communications campaigns.

The noontime show’s combined entertainment and communication campaign involving the convergence of trimedia and online media cut across social classes and bridged the generation barrier. The show, now being viewed by even the older generation, got a boost in viewership from Generation Y, the millennials (18 to late 20s) who were already following Mendoza.

It is inconceivable for the millennials to take interest on their own in “Eat Bulaga”—which started in 1979 and was led mostly by 60ish comedians—when they have smartphones and tablets to give them instant gratification not derived from noontime shows that require them to sit before a television set at a time when they are either in school or at work. And even if the millennials have the time, survey firms have found that the young generations are hooked more on their smartphones, tablets and computers than on television.

But by getting Mendoza and posting segments of her show on Facebook and other social media sites, “Eat Bulaga” got the attention of the millennials and of Generation X (34-54 years old), which now make up the cyberwarriors spreading the “AlDub” romance online and across the world.

A word of caution in dealing with the X and Y generations: They want a two-way relationship in viewership or readership. These are the generations that grew up feeling empowered and fully involved in their activities.

Apparently, the network people are reading fully well the behavior and viewing preferences of the X and Y generations that are giving the noontime show its trending power.

In a recent interview, GMA News Online editor in chief Jaemark Tordecilla said the network is working hard to satisfy “viewer engagement” and is monitoring what the audiences are saying about the show through social media.

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Through its television newscasts and online sites, the network gives due recognition to fans who create video, memes and other posts to spread the show among millions of netizens. This makes the online fans feel empowered and subsequently more committed to do online word-of-mouth references for the noontime show.

Even Richards and Mendoza’s writing of sweet nothings on white paper to communicate to each other mimics the propensity of millennials to communicate via social media or mobile phones.

The online buzz eventually got the attention of print and radio, which fanned attention for the “AlDub” romance even more. This effectively brought the union of old and new media into full circle.

Lest I be accused of giving all credit to social media, it also helps that the couple and the cast of characters of “Kalye-serye” appear simple and true to their Cinderella-theme romance. Their antics and music, either sung by Richards or dubbed by Mendoza, also provide entertainment to people across all social classes.

Another behavioral trait of Generations X and Y is that they abhor hard sell and can spot people putting up a fake front. Thus, Richards, Mendoza and the other “Kalye-serye” actors got the attention and support of the millennials for being true to themselves and for propagating the old, familiar Filipino values.

Armand Dean Nocum ([email protected]) does integrated trimedia and social media campaigns for corporate and political clients.

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TAGS: Alden Richards, AlDub, Eat Bulaga, Kalyeserye, Maine Mendoza, social media, traditional media
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