The Only Syndicated Study Analyzing Cultural Shifts and Their Impact on How Viewers See Reality TV
Analysis of Over 650+ Unscripted Shows on 50+ Networks

Brooklyn, NY – December 1, 2011 ­­– TRUTH CONSULTING, an independent consultancy specializing in connecting brands to culture to move companies forward, today announced the release of its “Truth Culture Decoder: Reinventing Reality Fourth Edition,” the latest edition of its landmark analysis of the cultural context of today's reality and unscripted programming.

Building on the success of its custom Truth Culture Decoder studies and previous syndicated editions, Truth Consulting, based in Brooklyn, said the new edition identifies a new, pronounced cultural shift in our society. "Three years after the economic collapse of 2008, reality TV has come to hold a truly dominant position in American popular culture,” said Linda Ong, President of Truth Consulting. “Reality TV has become a lens through which the culture sees itself. People use reality TV as a way to understand what’s going on in the world, and has emerged as a metaphor with the political and with current events.”

Through their decoding of over 650 unscripted shows across over 50 networks since early 2010, Ong and her team have observed that reality TV is a prime factor in the normalizing and explaining of this new world to the American television audience. “The genre has become a prism refracting experience into various categories across a spectrum, from the hardworking and the down and dirty (Storage Wars, Swamp People) to the spoiled and self-entitled (the various Real Housewives and Kardashians series), from the weird and garish (Jersey Shore) to the pathological and pathetic (Hoarders)” said Ong. Truth Culture Decoder™ unearths the deeper themes that resonate today with viewers.

Fueled by semiotics – a research methodology long used in consumer product development – the Truth Culture Decoder is the only study of its kind to help broadcast and cable networks align their programming development and marketing with the current cultural mindset – from content, development and talent selection to promos and advertising.

The Truth Culture Decoder identifies relevant social themes, broken into codes under three categories – Dominant: What the world looks like today; codes that everyone recognizes and agrees on, and are most prevalent in society right now; Residual: Ideas fading into the past; codes that are widely accepted, but appear tired or dated through overuse; and Emergent: Fresh ideas about changing times; codes that define new perspectives, not simply fads or trends. Taken together, these codes not only identify, but demystify, the impactful context needed to be incorporated in order for a show to be a success.

Truth Consulting has pioneered the use of semiotics – reading, analyzing, interpreting and explaining the unwritten cultural codes that guide our daily routines and attitudes – in the television and media industry, and was the first to introduce this methodology via a customized tool that makes the findings immediately actionable, as well as individual program assessments and cultural consultation.

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Founded in 2000, Truth Consulting is an independent consultancy connecting brands to culture to move companies forward through Insights, Brand Strategy and Mobilization. In addition to a wide range of top media and entertainment brands, the Company’s clients include online, publishing, consumer products, travel/leisure and non-profit brands. Their Insights division was launched in 2010 with the introduction of Truth Culture Decoder™, an innovative methodology used to gauge the cultural relevance of brands. The Company’s Founder and President, Linda Ong, has been at the center of some of the most high-profile brand transformations in the industry, including Animal Planet, Bravo, Logo, Nickelodeon and Oxygen. Having served on the boards of AIGA/NY and PROMAX/BDA, Ong is a popular industry speaker, commentator and Ad Age op-ed columnist. Her work has received numerous awards from prestigious industry organizations including American Women in Radio & Television, The NY Festivals, International Monitor Awards, Promax/BDA and CTAM. 


Press contact info:
Linda Ong
President, Truth Consulting