Whether you are among the hundreds who had been involved in the preparations for the show in the last 2 years, since September 2011 ,or the few millions watching it on TV or hundreds of thousands watching it online, oh really?
Everyone agrees that…
Egypt just witnessed the launch of the highly anticipated #1 Reality TV Show for entrepreneurs. Yah and Erm! actual entrepreneurs, whom the show is supposed to be about had been passing around wild comments as the first episode of the show aired on Egypt’s popular Al Nahar TV Network.
Comments ranged from the show being overly commercial, abusing entrepreneurship and passing the wrong image about being an entrepreneur in Egypt, even questioning the allegedly massive USAID funding and the intentions behind it.
Basma Albanna, Co-Founder of Sirkil
Abdulrahman Alaa, Founder of X-Project Student Organization, El Mashrou3 Partner Organization
Co-Founder & CEO of Integreight the creator of 1Sheeld the 850%+ Goal Achiever on KickStarter
CEO & Founder of 3alemni
Co-Founder of Brand Yourself, El Mashrou3 Partner Organization
Also, on Twitter, remarks of being a competition show rather than an entrepreneurship show.
Including Mohamed El-Tahawy, CEO of Smartology
That’s only some of the feedback gathered…
Okay, now, let’s be frank, why would I write this analysis, and why would you be interested in reading this, given that…
Away from the self-flattering facts of being the founder of a 5+ years old brand promoting entrepreneurship in Egypt, with deep passion to spread the virus in Egypt, under any brand as I would claim, plus, experiencing 6+ months of formatting a similar reality TV Show back in 2010/early 2011 .etc
Let’s state the real reasons here:
Egypreneur, the entrepreneurship gig that I’m in charge of terminated its superficial partnership with the organization behind the show back in December 2012 on the ground of copycatting some of our products and shifting their strategy from being a (TV Show) into being a (TV Show + Egypreneur) and using our intellectual property in the process, well, add to it the fact that when we threatened of legal + public action in response we had been untruthfully misguided by their management team that this won’t happen, they ended up avoiding it by being foxy, calming us down until it is too late to launch one and going on with the stuff they have stolen and even more details we volunteered during assessing a potential partnership framework, after all this we were too kind to let it go and just let Karma do its job.
Yes, yes and right now Egypreneur HQ made a public notice that the model of the resources section on their website is stolen from our famous Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Mapping Project which worked on mapping entities and resources helping entrepreneurs in Egypt and this particular part was planned to be released through an information product called Ebda2 platform, they ended up releasing it under the same title, and it’s true that there is a case of intellectual property violation (Violating Egyptian Law #82 for year 2002, Undisclosed Information Articles) being raised against the company managing the show/website and individuals involved.
All this is true, there is even more, if you want me to share, but that’s enough to make my point…
Now, why would you even continue reading given this background?
Well, one of the not-so-secret arms of Egypreneur is Impact Lab, where we started an impact assessment project through which we gather and analyze information including feedback to assess the impact created by the product (TV Show) and everything that follows, so we started gathering and analyzing feedback but you know professionally , it will be claimed non-objective if articles or reports being released through Impact Lab, while both organizations are having all this heated issues behind the scenes, I couldn’t attract third parties to join Impact Lab for the project so far, so it will remain undisclosed until this changes.
And you know what I thought? As I have access to the information anyway and it will be claimed non-objective by the ones who are ready to do so anyway, why not to release it under this poor personal journal, and oh man, I don’t mind if you consider it non-objective or a personal view. I will do my best to make it objective later, but it’s a personal journal, I’m free to do what I wish..
Well, I even could have launched this as an opinion piece through Egypreneur Community, but I preferred to do it under my own name, will make sure it remains as such along the way…
I will start following the systematic process of Impact Lab starting with the next post, till then let’s go with couple of initial observations.
First: Initial Viewership
Well, whether you love it or hate it, in TV business there is only one thing that doesn’t lie and you can’t get around it, numbers and viewership…
I did a basic analysis to number of views for Reality TV Show competitions before you can find it HERE, if you search youtube for episodes from any of the Reality TV Show competitions we witnessed you’ll find a rough average of 2-3 Million views per episode, Search YouTube for Arab Idol, MBC The Voice, X Factor Arabia, Coke Studio.
Well, El Mashrou3 was not less supported, it’s hosted on one of Egypt’s most popular TV Networks and it received funding from USAID, Silatech and Samsung, so they have everything to go wild, and they did…
The launch of the first episode was very well supported from all angles, they organized a fancy event at a five stars hotel and invited all fans, partners and friends into a gig with the soon-to-be TV entrepreneur super stars – doesn’t look right, isn’t it? – to get their support and digital footprint into promoting the show. They also got the giant Facebook page of Samsung Egypt with over 5 Million fans to post their first episode, beside Al Nahar network Facebook page with over 2 Million fans…
Not only that, it seems like they also did the old trick of inviting pages with large number of fans to post their episode on YouTube, even if irrelevant, you can find it even in (Eftekasat Masry Om El Agnaby and a Fake Bassem Youssef Page)
Surprisingly, still they also seemed to invest in Facebook Advertising again, after investing massively across the last year to gain close to half a million fans, they still ran a Facebook Ads campaign to bring viewership to their first episode.
Thinking that should blow up the counter and strike massive viewership and digital footprint?
Surprisingly, the first episode today January 2nd at 6PM after over 12 days of aggressive promotion has barely reached 31,000 views , which is nothing compared to other Reality TV Shows with the same investment or even less, hitting 2 Million views in average, reaching 15 Million for a single episode in some cases!
This didn’t seem to be the case with the first episode only, the second episode after 5 days of release has only reached a bit more than 5,000 views.
Erm! How disappointing now, by standards of the media and TV business, despite all the budget spent and commercial packaging, you know, they call such viewership a massive failure.
Second: Attitude towards feedback, delete.
Don’t get me wrong, the feedback was not all negative, negative, not at all and who would expect that with allegedly over 1000+ volunteers around Egypt to support the airing of the show, mostly students given the benefit of being around future TV super stars, who even entered into heated debated in several posts against entrepreneurs sharing their views about the show.
If you visit their Facebook page you’ll find everything is going great. The smart social media managers got me smiling for the witty PR tricks asking audience”What is your positive feedback on the last episode” leaving space only for positive feedback, furthermore, couple of posts mentioned “deleting” negative feedback on their page and the comment mentioning that actually got the most likes indicating intentionally removing negative comments from their page.
That made me remember the days when I was running the first digital marketing campaign for Birrell, they launched a wicked campaign called BirellMan and oh boy it was being stormed with negative comments, I played an honest trick of making comments “pending approval” and waiting for confirmation to approve or delete from the company itself. I can understand the position of a social media manager being stormed with negative comments. Oh boy, by checking BirellMan YouTube comments now, even after 3 years, seems like they are still following my not-so-honest trick, check it out there all positive, positive.
As promised, I will not try to make this look as fancy as an Impact Lab report, but also won’t go super random and biased with personal opinions in all posts, actually I will partially use an assessment framework created at Impact Lab to analyze the project from all its angles, will see you in posts to follow with more in-depth look on:
- The Entrepreneur behind the show
- The Funding
- The Beginnings ( 2 Years of Preparations)
- The TV Show Format
- The Viewership
- The Grassroots Movement
Have fun! And just enjoy the show 😉