If you were one of the more than 17 million people who watched the debut episode of Red Table Talk featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, her mom Adrienne and her daughter Willow last week on Facebook Watch, you witnessed a hit show in the making. The show, which is a roundtable discussion of three generations of women that covers all things relationships, sex, and raising children, attracted viewers from around the world. Episodes will span over 10 weeks, and currently has fans begging for it to expand beyond its current 19-minute format.
To what can the show’s breakout success be attributed to? It seemed the show popped up in feeds overnight with Jada joining Instagram on May 3. As the matriarch of an incredibly talented and successful family, fans were excited to hear more from her. And with a show premiere just four days later, attention for the show may have had some outside help.
After the success of last summer’s box office smash Girls Trip, Pinkett Smith had been fairly quiet. However, with husband Will Smith joining Instagram last December around the debut of his dystopian Netflix film Bright, all eyes have been on the family. His lifestyle pictures and viral motivational videos have been all the rave, increasing his visibility and popularity among a younger, socially connected audience. This peek into the Smiths’ lives through Will’s account may have been coincidental, but lent to the easy segue into Jada’s new presence on the platform.
She immediately took to Instagram to talk about Red Table Talk, a show that would premiere on Facebook Watch. And while Pinkett Smith has maintained an active presence on Facebook, it appears the show’s promotional team relied on a combination of search engine marketing and social media ads to drive interest for the show. Following the first episode featuring an honest conversation between Jada and her husband’s ex-wife Sheree Fletcher, it has been talked about across various platforms, including Cosmo, Vibe, and The Washington Post.
CREDIT: Getty Images
However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Red Table Talk. Initially promised as a series on YouTube, the first Red Table Talk aired in May 2012, and turned into a viral video of an 11-year-old Willow with her mother and grandmother. This immediately whet the public’s appetite, but production appeared to be halted.
Social media is clearly a driver of interest in show, and with Facebook now producing original content, Facebook Watch seemed to be a fitting home. The show also boasts a Facebook group where a primarily black female audience engages in their own discussions, getting answers on co-parenting, relationships and more in-depth discussion about the episodes. Pinkett Smith also hosts a weekly Facebook Live broadcast for fans in her home.
Another coincidence? There’s was a handy product placement of Jaden Smith’s JUST Water visible during an extended live chat. Not only is this show giving a deeper look into the lives one of America’s most creative families, but it’s also an opportunity for an intentional familial come-up.
The Smiths have executed a successful multi-channel marketing campaign that seems more like an invitation to a family meeting and is sure to keep us all tuned in.
Original video programming on social media platforms is on the rise. By leveraging a multi-channel marketing campaign like the one used for the premiere of Red Table Talk, brands and content creators can attract fans within record time, and build a loyal community within the process.
Catch Red Table Talk every Monday on Facebook Watch.
I’m Jasmine Powers, your marketing fangirl, and I help consultants and professional service businesses master their content strategy and confidently own their conversations so that they may consistently attract clients they love. I believe content is a service and everything from your first Facebook Live to the LinkedIn private message should be full of well-thought-out communications to powerfully position your brand for the sale. Visit her at jasminepowers.com and connect on Twitter and Instagram.