The New York Times on Sunday examined TLC's new Web-only reality series "A Conception Story," which was pitched to the network by First Response, a brand of fertility, ovulation and pregnancy test kits. The series tracks six women and their partners as they try to conceive, with updates unfolding "practically in real time," according to the Times. Although TLC, a unit of Discovery Communications, has long targeted viewers who have an interest in pregnancy- and family-related reality shows, the Web series is "decidedly different" in that the idea came from an advertiser, the Times reports.
Each participant in the series received several First Response testing kits and a digital video camera to document their lives and progress over the next seven months. The women send the footage to TLC producers, who edit the videos and post them online within a few days. Each participant also will contribute to a blog on the show's Web site. First Response guided TLC in selecting the participants, and fertility specialist Peter Ahlering, a spokesperson for First Response, appears in informational videos on the site.
Harold Morgenstern, senior vice president for advertising sales at Discovery Communications, said, "The reason we were open to this is First Response has been a very trusted brand for more than 25 years," adding, "And we think this is compelling content."
Before the economic downturn, the rising average age for first births among U.S. women helped contribute to "steady growth" for home pregnancy and ovulation tests, "since women monitor themselves more closely when racing against the biological clock," the Times reports. However, according to a February report from market research firm Mintel, "a higher incidence of postponing pregnancy in a poor economy has put a damper on home pregnancy test sales." The report found that the sales dropped by 2.5% in 2008 and 3.4% in 2009 (Newman, New York Times, 5/2).
Article: 5th May 2010 www.medicalnewstoday.com
View the online reality series at www.tlc.discovery.com
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