For 64 years, NBC's Today Show has been a reliable friend to bleary-eyed Americans. Starting at 7 a.m. and running for four glorious hours (wrapping with those delightful day drinkers Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb), the program has changed substantively over the past 63 seasons and, like any aging New York beauty, has undergone a few nips and tucks along the way. Its most recent face-lift is centered around social media. The Orange Room, built in 2013, updated last year and manned by anchor Carson Daly, is the show's digital studio, and just last week, Today created interactive green rooms for its guests: the Facebook Live Booth and Instagram Mini Room, which enable guests and anchors to communicate with the show's Facebook audience in real time. Said Today digital executive producer Ashley Parrish: "We're most excited about the digital dialogue these new features create with our audience."
“It gives viewers unprecedented access to the show,” digital executive producer Ashley Parrish said of Today's Orange Room.
The Facebook Live Booth launched last week.
Today commissioned a series of sketches based on anchors’ tweets.
The Instagram Mini Room is a scaled-down replica of the Today anchor desk where guests can take selfies and upload them to the show’s account.
Pour a Glass
The Winebot is featured during the 10 o’clock hour, hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. During their on-air debates, viewers can tweet their support via hashtags #TeamKLG and #TeamHoda. “The Winebot software connects to Twitter and sends that information to the hardware, which, in turn, pours wine into the glass of whichever side is receiving tweets,” explained Parrish.
This story first appeared in the April 4 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.