SMG Entertainment Channel’s “Extra Extra Small” is a Hit with Chinese Families
SHANGHAI, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — SMG Entertainment Channel’s highly rated program “XXS” or “EXTRA EXTRA SMALL” answers questions like: Why is it more and more difficult for families to find happiness? What do Chinese families want most now; what is missing in their interpersonal relationships? What can we do to help families feel happier and for their children to feel healthier, both physically and spiritually?
As the channel’s top-rated show, XXS, whose Chinese title roughly translates as “Oh My God! We’ve Been Shrunk”, is broadcast around the world, capturing an average of 38% audience share in the markets where the program is aired. The program’s first episode in Portugal achieved a viewership of 43 percent, beating the rating for “Britain’s Got Talent”. The show’s “unique selling proposition” is the feeling of smallness felt by each family member as they face common objects found in the average family home that are all ten times their normal size. Family members feel themselves tiny in comparison, just as Gulliver must have felt when he reached the shores of Brobdingnag. On the show, contestants swim in giant washing machines, dance on oversized record players, use rock climbing techniques to scale the side of a gigantic sofa, and compete against the clock in toy cars racing down a track. Families competing on the show need not only muster every ounce of strength they have but must strategically cooperate as a unit to complete what are normally the most basic household chores. It is the sense of unity and each family member’s caring for the other that is brought out through these games and is the main reason why the Entertainment Channel chose to air the show.
With families as the target audience, the Entertainment Channel painstakingly selected twenty families that are highly representative of families in China today. The families include one housing an Olympic champion, one with a mother who worked as a nanny for a well-off Shanghai family and one with a strict father who gained a lot of admiration online for the rigorous training schedule he imposed on his son. These representative families allow audiences to get a genuine glimpse of how individuals and their families from very different walks of life think about and consider as family values.
China’s famous sports commentator Jianxiang Huang, who is also one of the show’s emcees, said, “the show’s most compelling aspect and visual “hook” is that contestants participate in a difficult game as a family unit. This show provides an opportunity for parents to team up with their children to address a challenge. The need to collaborate deepens their mutual affection while the competition is a real learning experience for the children. It also serves as a wake-up call to parents who need to spend more time and engage in more activities together with their children, all of which are critical to their children’s growth while becoming memories that are cherished by the parents forever.”
In fact, the often complete change in attitude among the participating families before, during and after the show as well as the family issues that are brought up by the show including the relationship between children and parents, the best methods for educating children, each family member’s level of physical fitness and the re-evaluation of the decision by families whose parents have chosen to live in different cities or countries, are among the many other personal and group issues that every family member who watches the show finds him- or herself grappling with. The show has many families in its audience re-examining their own family values and what is important in life and that is why the show continuously ranks among the top three shows in its time slot and has become a hot topic of discussion among viewers of the program.
The show also invited China’s well-known psychologist Yiyun Zhang and her team to serve as general consultants while teaming up with government authorities to design a questionnaire that collected and analyzed data measuring the “satisfaction index” of Chinese families, in order to better understand the current status of Chinese households. They received more than 3,000 completed questionnaires, which showed what Chinese families wanted most was simply spending time together as well doing fun things together. The show emphasized a family’s mutual participation in an activity, and how the joy derived from those mutually experienced activities served as a vehicle for dealing with the tense and difficult relationships that often exist between family members in today’s China.
Shanghai OTV Media general manager Yong Li stressed, “The show’s contestants who were “shrunk” not only challenge the huge world, but also experience their own spiritual growth as well as that of their family members. The games themselves are not the essential point of XXS. The show’s true attraction lies in the positive energy it delivers to all participants, allowing each and every one of us to see the power of family, affection and love.”
A parent of one of the participating families said, “Teaching by example is far better than any attempt to preach through words. Parents are the mirror of their children. The feeling of desperation, the exertion that we had to make and the struggle virtually for survival that we experienced while playing the game are all elements that we could convey to and share with our children.”
XXS is now simulcast on more than ten provincial and regional television channels with each episode garnering high ratings. The show is stimulating discussion on the meaning of family all across the country.
SOURCE SMG Entertainment Channel