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Exclusive: A&E launches social challenge for 'Barter Kings'

A&E continues to ramp up its social TV efforts to provide an additional layer for fans and influencers to participate in their programming. Recently, they launched a second screen app for Storage Wars. Now the network has told Lost Remote exclusively about the “Social Barter Kings Challenge,” an entire competition that takes the premise of the show but brings it to social media influencers.

Barter Kings, which premieres this Tuesday, June 12th at 9 p.m., follows two people as they try to barter their way up from a smaller object (for example, an electric guitar) to a more valuable “goal object” (1970 Monte Carlo) — with no money exchanged. The TV contest has been brought online with a Facebook-based competition, running through June 20th.

This is a great effort by the network to leverage the social reach of the influencers they’ve selected as part of a social TV strategy, while also making the content extremely relevant to the show itself. A&E worked with Awestruck and Glow Interactive to execute and fulfill the campaign.

Among the influencers in the entertainment category is Jamal Jimoh of NCredible entertainment (Nick Cannon’s company). “(It) just seems like a lot of fun, it’s also a great way to engage my audience across several networks and get a real feel for how different people value different items,” he told Lost Remote. “Plus, it’s a great way to get free stuff!” He added that, “There’s a REAL art to bartering – taking money and services out of the equation and just leaving it at good for good makes it as challenging as it is fun.” Jamal will start off by bartering a Playstation 3.

Here are the details from A&E on the influencers and how it will work, followed by an interview with Executive Vice President of Marketing for A&E, Guy Slattery.

Throughout the two week period, each influencer will post content related to the object he or she just acquired, along with content from A&E that helps promote the show within the context of the Social Barter Kings competition. This sequence will continue for 2 weeks until the program concludes. Assuming the influencer has successfully executed at least 3 trades for the duration of the campaign, they will keep the item they have at the campaign’s conclusion. Each influencer, who successfully barters up at least 3 times over the 2 week period, will be crowned a social media Barter King. One influencer, who ends up with the highest valued item will win $1,000.

Influencers and Personal Interest Categories:

Music – Jonathan Cook (Forever The Sickest Kids)
Entertainment – Jamal Jimoh (Ncredible Entertainment)
Food – Melissa Pfeister (Hot For Food via YouTube)
Finance/Technology – Josh Smith (
Finances (Frugal Living) – Cathy Yodel (FabuLESSly Frugal)

Lost Remote: How does the Social Barter Kings Challenge work?

Guy Slattery: We wanted to create a social campaign that helped capture the essence of our newest show Barter Kings. Barter Kings is all about this thriving subculture of entrepreneurs who barter for items they want using their own networking channels, expertise and influence without spending a dime. We wanted to extend this skill into the social space, and see how we could leverage everyday people who are influential in their own right, and create a parallel social storyline.

We found 5 unique everyday influencers representing different passions like music, entertainment, finance and technology, and invited them to participate in the following challenge… use YOUR social networks and influence to barter up! To make it fair, each influencer starts with a $250 item of their choice, in two weeks the influencer that traded up to the highest valued item will be crowned The Social Barter King. That’s serious bragging rights! Not to mention, they could catch the barter bug.

LR: What partners did you work with to create it?

Slattery: We partnered with Awestruck marketing to identify our everyday influencers and Glow Interactive to build our social hub where fans can track the progress and watch our influencers barter in real-time, and even participate in the challenge by tweeting their own barters.

LR: What are the social TV elements?

Slattery: We’re promoting the Challenge on air and with in-show integrations. Viewers of the show will be encouraged to check out this extended social narrative, get in on the action and barter up with our influencers via snipes and customized hashtags.

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