05 April 2016

How Understanding Fans is Changing Television

Susan Kresnicka is a cultural anthropologist who works in the entertainment industry. (Yes, we can do that too!)

Working with Troika ("Hollywood’s leading integrated branding and marketing agency" according to Forbes) as a creative executive in television marketing, Kresnicka says her job is to "encourage our clients to focus less on trend-chasing and more on understanding the broader cultural forces." Like all anthropologists, she does this by bringing a sense of the 'bigger picture' to her work by looking at cultural forces at play -- that is, looking at who audiences or fans of a television show or sports event are, how they watch, and how and why they connect to it.

Understanding how entertainment content is valued by consumers can have "real implications for our businesses, from programming to marketing to corporate social responsibility." Kresnicka's work and the insights of her team into things like 'fandom' are increasingly important in businesses like entertainment, which are rapidly changing through things like online streaming and social media (see our post on Who makes the news?).