It only takes five minutes on your social platform of choice to realize that conversations generated by hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite, #DiversityInEntertainment & #WomenInMedia can be as divisive as they are important.
It isn’t just a moral imperative that is pushing us towards a more diverse media landscape. As Wesley Morris & James Poniewozikfeb write in the NY Times, “TV audiences for everything are smaller now, which means networks aren’t programming each show for an imagined audience of tens of millions of white people. On top of that, there are younger viewers for whom diversity — racial, religious, sexual — is their world. That audience wants authenticity; advertisers want that audience.”
But current methods for measuring audience preferences are not up to the task of helping media professionals create more original, diverse content. Netflix had a massive hit with the US remake of British TV show House of Cards, which debuted to rave reviews and ratings in 2013. In commissioning the show, Netflix used data about people’s past viewing choices to cast Kevin Spacey and bring on David Fincher to direct. This was a major win for the industry in using data to validate their creative decisions.
But what if it was possible to get past the information gap that limits examples of original programming options to “tried and true” story formats, characters, and casting choices? To that end, Thicket has created an online quiz to help track how people relate to their favorite fictional characters from film and television. Not only will this quiz help you understand why you connect to the characters you love, on a larger level the results of this quiz will help content creators in the future craft characters that fans truly resonate with, rather than relying on generalized stereotypes and other assumptions.
"A very interesting quiz, I realized that my favorite characters are very similar, even though they are from different eras, genres, and genders."
- Quiz Taker on Tumblr
With our quiz, creatives have the option to test out their decisions against a richer dataset that unlocks areas of opportunity hidden behind complex behaviors and trends. On May 4th, we’ll be demoing the quiz at the Made in NY Media Center Demo Day Marketplace. We want your input to be part of the results we share with media industry professionals at Demo Day.
Then, pass it on. The more information there is in total, the more the results of this quiz can be used to help storytellers craft the characters you can relate to. This quiz protects your privacy — while the results will be looked at in aggregate, no personal information of any kind is tracked (or even asked).
As one quiz taker put it, “Give it a try; the worst that can happen is that you might influence someone to create your favorite character of all time.”