Last week was the finale of Splash, the US version of the UK TV show Splash!. If you don’t remember, Splash! is the ITV diving show with Tom Daley that was incredibly popular early this year and is returning for a second series in January 2014. This may have come as a bit of a surprise to the plethora of reviewers who tore it to shreds, mostly using jokes containing the phrase “belly-flop” (good work, guys), but considering it had an average of 5.42 million viewers per episode it’s clearly been doing something right.
In case you didn’t catch it, Splash! is Strictly Come Dancing with diving rather than dancing. Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay present, celebrities dive, professional divers (and, er, Jo Brand) judge, the audience vote, eventually Eddie the Eagle was declared the winner.
It might not be highbrow, but it was definitely entertaining. Daft and undemanding, Splash! is family friendly and Tom Daley is charming and inspiring. Some of the Seven League team dove when they were younger so they know how difficult it is, and a prime-time TV show that might potentially inspire more people to take up the sport can only be a good thing.
There have been a few improvements suggested for the second series. Many are suggesting that the celebrities should dive several times each, just like they do in the Olympics, in order to fill the 90-minute episodes. Personally, I’d like to see Splash! work on having a great social media presence.
Although “#splash” was being used on Twitter there was no prompt from the show itself to use this hashtag. This visualisation of tweets during the first episode below shows that there was no shortage of Twitter activity, but Splash! did nothing to encourage, steer or join the conversation.
There’s no Splash! Facebook page, no official Twitter account, no Instagram. Tom has a fantastic social media presence and was merrily tweeting backstage Splash! info, holding Q&As on Twitter, Instagram-ing photos and uploading blooper reels and ‘best dives’ to his YouTube channel, it’s not the same as having something official and tangible with the Splash! brand.
Or maybe that was their strategy – Tom is social media gold so they could rely on him to cover the social media side of Splash!. But if that’s the case why not get Gabby, who has over 250,000 followers, and Vernon, who has over a million, involved too?
It’s not hard to promote a hashtag or upload a few photos to a Facebook page. Fingers crossed that when Splash! comes back it’ll put as much thought into the social media as it does the show. I’ll leave you with this video — an example of just how powerful a tiny prompt to talk about something on social media can be.