EXCLUSIVE: Keshet International can roundly be counted on to bring a splashy new format to the French Riviera when the big TV markets roll around. In 2013, Rising Star took Mipcom by storm with local versions licensed in some 25 territories. Then last Mip-TV, Keshet rolled out bomb-defusing game show Boom!, with Fox and TF1 among the takers. Rising Star ultimately had mixed results abroad, but Keshet continues to be a source of sought-after concepts. For this month’s Mip, Keshet is driving Trade Up, a primetime game show format that gives families the chance to win their dream car. Can it also be a game-changer for the auto advertising industry?
Because contestants spend the length of play sitting inside the cars they hope to drive away, Keshet Media Group SVP Content Ran Telem calls it “the most tangible game show we have. It’s not an imaginary sum of money — you’re sitting inside the prize.”
It’s also an engine for branded content. It’s “a step toward the solutions we should be finding,” says Telem. “In the world right now, we see the power of commercials and the break fading away, and the great need for advertisers to find themselves in the shows and not in the commercial breaks.” The Israeli version of Trade Up, which is yet to air, counts a major car importer and gas company among its sponsors.
The show’s contestants are selected from a group of applicants who have written in as to why they deserve a new car. Two families of successful candidates are surprised at their homes by a truck carrying several gift-wrapped automobiles. They then hop in their own undesirable rides and follow the truck to a huge car hangar where two rows of identical models of increasing value, from used to “jackpot,” are waiting. Each of the cars has three keys on the dashboard representing three answers to general knowledge multiple choice questions. If the family chooses the correct answer and the key turns the ignition, they advance. But they are also competing against the other family and must employ tactics — what Telem refers to as the “stick in the wheel, or the deathline” — to knock their rivals out, because only one team can win a car.
After eliminating their opponents, the next time the team switches on an engine, they can either opt to drive the car away, or risk an attempt to trade up to the next model. Per Keshet’s synopsis, if the contestants play well “the steering wheel to their dream car is already in their hands. If they don’t, they leave in the sorry ride they arrived in.”
Contrary to some of the previous shows that Keshet has brought to Mip, Trade Up will arrive without the benefit of local ratings to boost it since it won’t debut in Israeli primetime until later this month.
The local marketing campaign, however, kicked off this week. A TV teaser is out and beginning tomorrow a promotional contest goes live online and on social media. The latter falls on the first day of Passover which typically means massive traffic jams throughout Israel. It’s designed to create a conversation about the show with a captive audience stuck in traffic, in their cars.