Dr. Phil show results in just over 1000 more than average Second Life sign-ups
A comparative analysis of Grid Survey data shows a modest increase in sign-ups to Second Life on the day the ‘Dr. Phil’ episode about gaming addiction aired – Tuesday, July 14th.
My very helpful stats adviser first compared sign-ups for the earlier 3 weeks to show a baseline (blue, red and orange bars). The only increase was on the day the show aired (Tuesday, July 14th), indicated by the green bar on Tuesday. The increase was comparatively small with just over 1,000 more than average sign-ups when compared to the average from the previous three weeks.
The analysis also reveals that most Second Life sign-ups occur on a Sunday and Monday, and tend to decline over the week (incidentally, this mirrors most of the web properties of which I watch analytics data). Despite a bump in the sign-up figures on the Tuesday the show aired, the numbers for the following three days were in fact lower than the average from the previous three weeks.
I’ve embedded a remixed and cut-down video of the Dr.Phil show, courtesy of Draxtor Despres.
Personally, I didn’t expect a huge surge from a talk show that a) focused on the negative aspects of gaming addiction and b) only showed a few minutes of Second Life. A part of me however, is somewhat surprised to see such low sign up figures for what amounts to a 2-minute advert on a syndicated daytime television show that has an average of 4.4 million viewers a week.
Clearly, context is everything.
You may have noticed Dr. Phil did not mention the name of the games that the young man in the show was playing and that the producers obscured computer screens when the game might have appeared on camera. I suspect that the Dr Phil show did not get permission to name the game, most likely due to the game creator’s concerns their product might be associated with gaming addiction.
With that said, one might consider that Linden Lab made a gutsy and proactive media play to not only speak on the show (represented by CEO Ebbe Altberg) but to also enable Dr Phil to engage in Second Life both live and in recorded video.
Taking the long view, this publicity exercise might not have immediately paid off for Linden Lab in terms of unique sign-ups, but at least many more people are aware that Second Life exists than they did before the show – lack of awareness arguably being Second Life’s biggest marketing problem (even though some of the shots – like the one below – seem like file copies from 2007).
What perceptions viewers took away from the segment is considerably harder to discern.
Note: The Dr Phil show did not include all the above video material shown in the video above; this is a remix with a few inserted images from past episodes of the Drax Files World Maker’s Series. The producers of the Dr Phil show limited the content associated with Second Life to just under 3 minutes of the 38 minute segment, which chiefly explored on young man’s problems with gaming addiction.
For a comprehensive review of the show and an embedded video, see Modem World.
What did you think of the Dr Phil show? Do you think Linden Lab made the right call to take part? Share your thoughts in the comments below.