Harlem Heights, a reality show about a group of Harlem professionals in their late 20’s, debuted on BET last night. BET did a great deal of marketing the show off and online. To extend the shows brand online BET also put in work on their own website, including video clip extras and a blog covering the cast.
A number of media companies have tried to transfer their audience online via their own websites, but BET proves that they understand how they can address their audience in a way that adds more to the experience. The Harlem Heights video extras and blog entries tell the audience more about each individual character, giving us a little more insight than can be drawn from the unscripted 30 minute episode.
It’s a strategy that would work best with reality shows with casts too large for the audience to get to know much about each individual personality, the VH1 dating shows in particular currently execute this well. BET also uses Hulu as a distribution channel for many of their shows, Harlem Heights is among the many, so if you want an easy way or an alternative to finding shows like Harlem Heights Hulu is another good place to start. It will be interesting to see if BET plans to continue developing the Harlem Heights brand online after the show ends using all or individual cast members through digital channels.