Researchers examine marketing effectiveness found in television game shows

By Amanda Getchel


MUNCIE, Ind. – From Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to The Amazing Race, Ball State University’s Center for Media Design conducted research on how interactivity with television game shows affects people in their daily lives.

GSN, the Game Show Network, partnered with the Center for Media Design to observe television viewers as they participate with various game shows.

Cindy Ronzoni, GSN vice president of publicity and corporate communications, said GSN was the only U.S. television network dedicated to game-related programming. It features game shows, reality series, documentaries and casino games.

“Since 2002, viewers have been able to play along with on-air programming by going to,” Ronzoni said.

The results of the study, led by Mike Bloxham, director of testing and assessment for the Center for Media Design, will enable the advertising community to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of marketing through interactive television as well as why people decide to participate, Ronzoni said.

A small group of researchers from the university did research during Winter Break for the GSN and will continue to do other types of studies related to interactivity with the media in the future.

“We went to a few homes and observed people while they interacted with the game shows,” Bloxham said. “We asked them to watch in couples, twos or threes. Afterward, we conducted interviews asking people what they thought was weak about the interactivity and what they think about the idea.”

Ronzoni said this study would help GSN learn how consumers interact with different brands.

Once the research is completed, Bloxham said it would provide a better understanding of how media was being used in different ways and introduce a new development in the way people would use television.

“This type of research on interactivity among people and television has never been done before,” Bloxham said.

“We hope to share the information we receive and get it out to the market in order to help the market. The purpose is to find how interactivity will help play a role in the American experience,” he said. “Very little empirical research on this matter has been done in the United States, but Ball State University is leading the way.”