Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Teutuls: Family Feud or Brilliant Marketing?

For those of you who have watched American Chopper on TLC, you are familiar with the Teutul family of Orange County Choppers (OCC.). The father and son duo of Paul Senior and Paul Junior (OK, and Mikey!) produce one of a kind choppers usually based on a special or corporate theme (think US Army Reserves, Siemens, Ford, etc . . . ).

The gem behind the show is the family interaction that occurs while OCC builds these incredible bikes. The Tuetul family dynamic could be described as intense, heated and unpredictable. So much so, Paul Junior and Mikey were fired at the end of last season by Paul Senior. There was also news of the show's cancelation and a law suit between Junior and Senior.

Tonight, the Tuetuls are back with TLC pitting both Paul's against each other. The season has been dubbed "Junior vs. Senior" The lead question . . . who's side are you on?

And your question to me is . . . why are you writing about the new season of American Chopper in a tech blog?

In my opinion, being a techie is only one side of producing a valuable presence on the web. At the end of the day, a lot of this stuff is all about marketing. I believe that American Chopper and TLC have stumbled upon a brilliant marketing plan (why I am discussing the topic here) for a show that was probably getting ready to jump the shark.

I say stumbled because I do believe there is conflict within the Teutul family (is there a family that doesn't have conflict?), however, they are smart enough to seize an opportunity.

There is another option here . . . TLC is using the Teutul family to boost ratings and bring in more sponsors - regardless of the impact to the family. OK, everybody is probably using everybody here, but the Teutuls are not going into this season with their eyes closed.

Where do you stand?

• Is there a real Teutul family crisis?
• Is this a brilliant marketing plan?
• Is TLC trying to make money regardless of who gets hurt?
• Is all of the above?

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