CCO Replica Sample - 9

What can you tell us about the show?
It's a comedy set 40 years in the future.
I've seen a lot of dystopian films or
shows where computers have gained
sentience, become evil, and taken over.
I wondered what it would be like if they
were as neurotic, erratic, insecure, and
charmingly flawed as the people who
made them: us. What's that future like?
What situations arise? How do these selfconscious robots deal with the emotional
issues that we face everyday?
Why did you need to use Twitter data to
make the show?
In my original draft, I noticed it was
skewing very strongly toward one
demographic, and I wanted it to be
relevant to a bigger audience. The
characters I was creating needed to
appeal to those people. But writing these
varied characters is about more than just
clothing or token references, you really
need to know who they are on a more
personal level. I wanted to explore new
ways of building that understanding, and
with Twitter being an open network I was
familiar with, it was a natural choice.
How do you use technology to assist?
Firstly, I use our social analytics platform
(Audiense) to identify an audience
of 850,000 people that resembles the
audience I am trying to appeal to. Next,
I use a tool powered by IBM Watson,
which is part of our analytics platform
to get a rich depth of insight into their
characteristics, needs, and values. I fed in
certain sets of interests too, and it told me
what the people who liked them were like.
Why was this useful in the creation
of the show?
By analyzing different segments of our
audience demographic, we were able to
correct what turned out to be an overindexing to one segment. It also gave me
extra inspiration for some characters and
their plot points, as well as confirming
ideas I had for others.
Moreover, this new way of creating
a show will get a lot of interest from
potential sponsors. Once you embrace
your audience openly, you can bring in
advertisers as you can clearly point to

who your show is likely to appeal to with
far greater accuracy. This is of great value
to them, and thus it's valuable for the
studios too.
At what stage is the show at now?
I've been working with the
entertainment company Anonymous
Content (Mr. Robot, The Revenant,
Eternal Sunshine), which has totally
embraced this concept of data
intelligence in show creation. I handed in
a final pilot and we're now ready to go out
and sell it.
What are some specific examples of
how you used the personality traits?
One of my lead characters is a LatinAmerican woman who handles the U.S.
database of computer networks, but
I wanted to understand the audience to
help write her accurately. We identified
850,000 people within this niche of
Latino women interested in technology.
Something we noticed was that although
they were highly tech-savvy, they skewed
towards being less impulsive and having
more traditional values. Without giving
too much away, this conflation helped us
mold the plotline in the pilot of the show.
How do we balance the relationship
between creative-gut feeling and using
data for good stories?
Firstly, you're always going to need good
script writers, showrunners, and actors
to bring ideas to life. I don't think robots
armed with data are going replace them
any time soon. But here's where it helps:
I often sit and wonder how to write
a show for audience X, and how the
different segments of that audience
would like it, or how to write a character
from a certain background or culture. But
I don't always know what they're really
like or how to portray them accurately,
and a focus group wouldn't necessarily
give me a broad, accurate picture.
How does social data analysis differ
from conducting focus groups with
those audiences?
There's still room for that direct level
of focused research, but they'll only
tell you what they know they want, and
Continued on 10

Twitter has over 313 million active users,
enough to build an accurate picture of any
niches and audiences that a brand could
wish to understand and reach. Sure, it's got
fewer users than some social networks,
but for every brand looking to tap into
its customers' minds and add a layer of
understanding, it's invaluable. Why is that?
Because the vast majority of tweets and
connections are public. It's open data that
is out there for you to analyze. This provides
marketers and insights professionals with
the scope to look deep into what resonates
with audiences, how they're connected to
the world, what type of devices they use,
what characteristic traits they have, who
influences them ... the list goes on.
Not only can you get all of this data to
build useful insights to act upon, you can
also see the individuals you're analyzing
to ensure your original segmentation was
accurate. This isn't possible on closed
networks, where there will always be an
element of guesswork.
The information gathered from Twitter
audience research is an important building
block in creating a full-bodied audience
persona and deriving useful insights, which
feed into other areas of the business. In the
past, this information has been gathered
on a sample basis through surveys and
focus groups. It's now available at the push
of a button, at scale. This doesn't just save
businesses time and money, it guides their
traditional research methods by pointing
them in a strong direction from the start.


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