NBC gamifies Thursday night must-see TV

Summary:At first glance, adding gamification elements to television programs seems like a natural partnership. On the other hand, there’s something of a disconnect between television viewing, which is an innately passive activity, and game-playing, which is active.

nbc promotes hop by creating a game around thursday night must-see TV

At first glance, adding gamification elements to television programs seems like a natural partnership. On the other hand, there’s something of a disconnect between television viewing, which is an innately passive activity, and game-playing, which is active. By this I mean, there’s a strong risk that TV viewers will be too sedentary under the hypnotic glow of the screen to actually participate in a game.

NBC and sister company Universal are giving it a try, however, with an integrated promo for the upcoming animated film <a href=”http://www.iwantcandy.com/”>HOP</a>, which apparently has something to do with the <a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1411704/”> Easter Bunny and David Hasselhoff</a>.

In the HOP Thursday Night Comedies Easter Egg Hunt, NBC wants viewers to find all the Easter Eggs hidden in its Thursday night lineup. The shows in question are: Community, Perfect Couples, The Office, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and Outsourced (of these, only 30 Rock is on my DVR list, I’ve never even heard of some of these -- so much for the legacy of must-see TV).

For the HOP contest, you watch these six shows, spot the eggs (a double meaning, as hidden features are often called Easter Eggs), then head on over the the NBC/Hop website and answer six questions about where the eggs were to be entered in a sweepstakes. Of course, reading the <a href=”http://www.nbc.com/hop/rules/”>fine print </a>of the contest, it says, “You do not have to answer the Questions correctly to be entered into the Sweepstakes. Your answers to the Questions will not affect your chances of winning this Sweepstakes,” which kind of renders the entire game aspect moot.

This isn’t the first spot-the-something game used in television promotion, but the question is -- does it actually do anything for the advertised brand, especially if spotting the correct answers doesn’t affect your chance of winning? Another question -- do promotions like this actually provide any gameplay value for viewers? Sound off in the comments section below.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

About

Texas native Libe Goad resides in New York City and has spent the past decade covering technology and video games for publications including Blender, PC Magazine, Bust, Seventeen and Sync. Libe is currently the Editor-in-Chief of AOL's award-winning Games.com group, covering the growing social and casual games industry. Previously, she... Full Bio

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