When Joel Comm took the leap to make the first “affiliate marketing” internet reality show, he had a ton of skeptics, but in the end it went well. Joel was the first to pave the way for an affiliate marketing reality show over the internet. With the release of Top Affiliate Challenge, by creator Thor Schrock… expectations of the show were anything but consistent. While Thor was able to pull together some well known marketers in the affiliate marketing space, without these guys, the show would probably have no viewers or media at all. Unfortunately, as much as some of us would like the show to succeed… many viewers (and even some contestants), are just surprised at how poorly the show is being run.
Here are just a few of the reasons why Top Affiliate Challenge is lacking. Should there be a season 2 for Top Affiliate Challenge, or any new affiliate marketing reality shows in the works… please make sure you cover yourself from failing again at the following.
Horrible Video Editing, Taping & Hosting:
With the amount of companies and affiliate networks pulled together to sponsor Top Affiliate Challenge, I am continually surprised at how poorly the show is taped. At times the show ranks at the level of quality of being recorded on a $150 Flip Video camera. There is no reason for the lack in video quality, when you have this much sponsorship money and exposure on the line. On an ending note, how often is the video chopping, the host is cut off during mid sentence, looking at queue cards and notes on the floor.
As for hosting… once the first episode was released, it took nearly an hour and a half of constant buffering for me to view the whole 30 minute episode. (also noted by John Chow) Top Affiliate Challenge finally decided to move their videos over to Google Video. A better decision would have been to team up with a higher quality and brand able video host in exchange for exposure on the show. As of right now, you can view all past episodes on TAC… though episode 5 doesn’t seem to be working at the moment?
Location: Why Nebraska?
One thing that internet marketing and a reality show have in common, is that you can run both of them anywhere. Drop any of us off in the middle of a desert, and as long as we have a laptop and an internet connection, we can start making money. Likewise, reality shows take place all around the world… whether it be “The Apprentice” in New York, or “Survivor” on a tropical island. The point is… why Nebraska, I’m hoping it wasn’t purely for the convenience factor. To make the most of this affiliate reality show, this should have taken place at Florida, New York and California… three well known internet hot spots in the US.
Non-Relevant Awards & Prizes:
Once again… the show is called “Top Affiliate Challenge“…. not random sponsor games. Why are non-relevant prizes being awarded to affiliate marketers. For instance, in episode 4, why are Power Tools and Drill Bits being awarded as prizes. I know these prizes are from the sponsored networks, but this should be a learning experience. Give away search marketing tools, ebooks, coupons, vouchers or anything relevant to affiliate marketing!
Unknowledgeable & Untrained Host:
No offense to the host, Monica Durezo, but I think they should have a more experienced and well trained host in the affiliate marketing space. I can only imagine how hard it is to host a reality show, especially when the staff, gurus and contestants don’t have an idea about what’s going on. When is the last time you watched a reality show on TV and the host wasn’t a well known celebrity. It would have made more sense for one of the “gurus” to host the show, as they are a more prominent figure in the affiliate marketing space.
Bad Affiliate Marketing Intelligence:
In addition to the host, which may or may not have an deep background in affiliate marketing… it seems the show itself does not have the necessary knowledge as well. Just off my head, from the past couple of episodes I can think of two instances where the incorrectness of this show is just silly. First off, when one of the contestants is talking about CPM, they say it’s “cost per thousand visits“… when the standard in affiliate marketing is “cost per thousand impressions“… and this is a HUGE difference. Also, I’m would not want to be a sponsor of the show, paying thousands of dollars to unhappy viewers… then to see my affiliate network being misspelled in the ending credits. It’s a little mistakes, but shows lack of detail and professionalism. (Copeak???… I thought it was Copeac..)
This is Really The PepperJam Show
Before the show event started, John Chow and ShoeMoney were the well known gurus listed on the show. They already had the exposure and branding in the affiliate space, while many had no idea who Ken McArthur were. Luckily for PepperJam Network, Ken McArthur is the Guru for their team and he is just destroying the competition… so much so, that during episode 6, Kris Jones, of PepperJam even provides money for his team’s competition. Either way, it’s good to see PepperJam getting their sponsorship money’s worth out of the show.
Unhappy Contestants and Gurus:
To top things off… during episode 3 and 4 we start to see disgruntled affiliates/contestant ready to leave the show and start voting for themselves to leave the show. Not only does this put themselves in a bad position, but it makes the show look bad too. Ian Fernando wants off the shoe, as he also made clear on his blog. ShoeMoney has left the show due to the birth of his new baby girl. Contestants are apparently having to spend their own money to make revenue for the team challenges… In the end… I’m not sure who is happy with the show.
Unfortunately for Top Affiliate Challenge, this seems to just be the tip of the iceberg of problems and complaints around the show. While the show was in audition phrase, I had a lot of people asking if I was going to apply for the show. After seeing the results from the show so far, I can say I’m much happier on the other side as a viewer and critic. With the loss of my friend Ian Fernando (though they never seem to send anyone eliminated actually home) and co-Guru ShoeMoney from the show… I can only imagine other viewers will also continue to lose interest fast.
What are your comments on the show and is it any more or less than you initially expected?