News Releases

The Next Generation of TV Ads: Choose Your Own Adventure

ITHACA, NY — This Sunday, Nov. 24, viewers of the American Music Awards live television program on ABC will get to choose the continued plot for a series of television commercials featuring Jennifer Lopez for the Kohl's “Choose Your Own Black Friday” social media campaign. Through online votes placed at and via twitter in real time, viewers will decide which plot line will air during the live program.

Geri Wang, Ithaca College alumna ’82 and president of sales at ABC, said it was a first for the network. “It’s the first time for us working with a client in real time on how the creative is being portrayed inside a live show, completely controlled by the biggest fans and the Kohl’s customer base.”

The series of commercials begins with Ms. Lopez stuck in traffic on the way to perform at the AMA event. She is then faced with two options: run over the roofs of the cars in front of her or hitch a ride on a passing moped. Twitter users will vote by using the hashtag #JLoHitch or #JLoRoofRun. The votes will determine which commercial airs next during the live show. Two more opportunities for choosing the continued plot for the commercial series will air later in the AMA broadcast.

“More and more, advertisers are thinking outside the television box and incorporating social media into traditional television commercials,” says marketing expert Scott Hamula. “Integrating social media helps increase the amount of earned media a brand will capture and engages the audience in more active ways. Instead of passively watching a commercial, they are now interacting with the brand. The impact increases exponentially.”

An associate professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Communication in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, Hamula notes that the recently announced formation of Nielsen Twitter TV Rating is one response to this growing trend of so-called second screen experiences.

“The new product will deliver a real-time social metric for measuring the dialogue and chatter on Twitter that is a result of television program viewing,” said Hamula.

To hear more of Hamula’s thoughts on advertising, contact him at  or (607) 274-1034.

For more information on “Choose Your Own Black Friday,” visit