A brief look into the scope of targeted audience of the popular Reality TV Show.
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Pawn Stars: A Look Behind the Deal
Pawn Stars, a type of reality-documentary hybrid is a show currently airing on history channel. The show revolves around a pawn shop, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, and the interactions between the people who work there and the customers who come to pawn or sell items. The main focus of the show is on the family that owns it, consisting of Rick “The Spotter” Harrison, his father Richard “Old Man” Harrison, his son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, and “adopted” son Austin “Chumlee” Russell. (History.com) The show also includes a variety of experts who help explain and appraise items, as well as the customers who bring the items into the shop.
Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, the store that is the focus and filming location for the show, was founded in 1988. It wasn’t until July of 2009 that the show began airing. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1492088/) After the show began, it quickly grew into one of the biggest hits on television, consistently rating in the top 25 almost every week. (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-10-29/u-dot-s-dot-cable-television-ratings-for-the-week-ended-oct-dot-27) In fact, it’s often considered to be the number two most watched Reality show on television. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/12/pawn-stars_n_1339667.html) The show’s success can be largely attributed to its emphasis on both the interactions of those on the show, as well as the information the show delivers on the various items that “come through those doors.” Now, over 4,000 people visit the store daily, the vast majority of who are fans of the television show. (http://www.vegas.com/attractions/off-the-strip/pawn-stars/)
The show’s theme can be broken down into two main components. The first of these components is the interactions between people on the show. These include both between the main stars of the show, as well as the customers and experts that make appearances. The second component of the show’s theme is the historical aspect. Much of the entertainment derived by the viewers of the show often comes from hearing about the history of an item, and the story about how it ended up in the store. By combining these two ideas, the show creates a fun, lighthearted family atmosphere, while retaining some educational and informative usefulness.
Just as the items that come into the store seem completely random, the advertising that surrounds the show features a wide variety of items. Ads include everything from cars to insurance, Jello to Lenscrafters, Phone service providers to Dyson Fans, and everything in between. However, some of the themes of the show can be traced into the themes of the commercials that are seen during it. Many of the commercials take on approach that could be described as family and comical. Of those that aren’t, the majority involve living life an interesting way, something reinforced by the various activities the main cast members from the show do nearly every episode (including shooting guns, driving cars/boats, etc.).
Part of the show’s success can be attributed to its ability to appeal to a variety of audiences. Some people watch for the shows conflict between family members. Others watch for the moments of negotiation between the customers and the workers. Still others watch for the fun and interesting items that appear on the show, and the history behind them. This variety of appeal still comes together to create one fluent show. The ebb and flow of these events tie together in a seemingly natural way, creating something that can appeal to people who may only enjoy one or a couple of the aspects of the show. As a result, the show appeals to a variety of age groups, as well as financial backgrounds.
This appeal to a variety of groups can be seen through the shows advertising. Products such as Just For Men suggest an older audience, while products like Jello suggest a younger one. Car commercials range from an affordable, economic car to a luxury SUV, showing a clear difference in economic preference. Alcohol ads range from ‘cheap’ beers, such as Sam Adam’s, to fine, expensive liquor, such as Glenmorangie, or lighter wines, such as YellowTail. The appeal to people of both sexes, as well as varying financial background, shows through in every commercial series. The one thing that seemed to be a theme throughout both the show and the television ads was trying to interest the audience in exploring things they might not have done before. This is further enforced as you learn more about the show’s characters, who all have colorful and interesting backgrounds, going through quite a bit before arriving at the place they are at now. (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/rick-harrison-pawn-shop-reality-tv-star-read/story?id=13753425)
Pawn Stars, the reality TV show based off the day to day business of a pawn store, as well as the people who run it, has become a very popular show that draws viewers from a wide range of demographics. Though clever use of several different elements that draw in viewers, the show brings the typical things thought about from “reality TV”, and combines them quite well with some interesting educational and historical information. The end result is a show that, through its own message as well as its advertising, sends a message of making life interesting to a widely diverse audience.