Marketing Idea No. 241 – What Masterchef can teach us about consumer behavior

The fun in cooking has always been on the other side of the table – on that side where we used to sit and eat a sumptious looking dish. But then came Masterchef. And cooking all of a sudden has become the epitome of new age hippy lifestyle. Everyone who is a “suit” wants to wear the apron. And why not? Cooking is hip.

We have been exposed to two drastically different style of Masterchef. One being the Australian version and the other the American version. Lets bite into both.

Masterchef Australia is the anti-thesis of everything we come to know of Reality TV. No biting comments. No harsh judges. No back biting. There seems to be an illogical amount of good feeling and camradarie between the contestants and judges. When one person wins, the other person smiles. We are definitely not exposed to this kind of reality tv. And the interesting part is, despite going against the conventional wisdom about reality tv, such absence of drama and fighting does not strip the program of its popularity. In fact, the ratings are through the roof. 

Then comes Gordon Ramsey and Masterchef USA and our belief in the vicious drama of reality tv is restored. Here everything is dramatic and fast. The judges look like they have an agenda against humanity. The participants lives are highlighted to create a false sense of attachment between audience and them, something which American Idol has mastered season after season. Its tailor made for typical americans who wants drama, and have such attention deficit disorder that they can never wait for good things to unfold in its own pace (ref: Any summer blockbuster in Hollywood).  Their is enough backbiting to keep people engrossed. This is definitely reality tv program for the people for whom there has to be a break in every game after every 12-15 minutes (Ref: Baseball, Basketball, American Football) so that they receive instant gratification. They want it fast. They want it right now. And if they cant afford to wait, they will just take credit/loan to own it. 

So next time you watch a reality tv program or a soap opera; think about what it tells you about the consumer behavior of that country.

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