Authors: Kelly A. McBride, Ed.D., M.Ed., Assistant Professor
Reality television’s roots seeded in MTV’s The Real World and cultivated in the present with topics ranging from gold prospecting to celebrity apprentices, have become a cultural phenomenon. Launched in 2006, Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has captivated audiences with its depiction of groups of housewives from various cities in the United States who represent themselves as attractive and wealthy, but also include more serious issues such as bankruptcy, divorce, and suicide. This article examines social media marketing and related activities as it relates to Bravo’s hit reality television program, The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Social media behavior in the consumer environment is explored utilizing Tracy L. Tuten and Michael R. Solomon’s Four Zones of Social Media, which include social community, social publishing, social entertainment, and social commerce. The article investigates two of the four zones in-depth– community and commerce – as it relates to products, services, and philanthropic efforts of cast members of the series.
Keywords: social media; Real Housewives of New Jersey; reality television; four zones; social commerce