January 3, 2007
Online Intern Contest Providing Extension for The Apprentice

A new online contest will partner Yahoo! with the popular NBC reality show The Apprentice, which is set to debut this month in its sixth season with another contest pitting young and hungry business folks against each other for a final nod of approval from The Donald.

The popular online site will feature a game called The Intern, starting on Sunday. Each week, through The Intern, fans will get the chance to come to Yahoo! and predict what will happen on the next installment of the NBC show. But where does it get the "Intern" title? The eventual contest winner will get the chance to be an intern to the Apprentice winner for two weeks after that new apprentice has started their new job with Trump.

The apprentice and the intern. Definitely a clever idea that feels like an organic contest. It creates an incentive for watching and gives a tangible prize at the end of the contest that makes sense within the framework of the show. However, I don't know how strongly Yahoo! is putting the tools in place for a communicative space for the fan community around the contest, as it seems to make sense that Yahoo! would want to make its game a connected part of the online fan community for The Apprentice.

However, Yahoo! will be providing blogs for Ivanka and Donald Jr.

Also, the synergistic relationship between Yahoo! and The Apprentice will also include an appearance by Trump on some of the Web video programming from Yahoo, as Donald will be making an appearance on tomorrow's episode of The 9, helping to count down the nine biggest stories on the Web for that day and then sticking around to talk about the new season.

Viewers can make their predictions on Wednesday for the Intern game, and bonus points are awarded for those who pick answers correctly well before the deadline.

The Apprentice's sixth season runs from Sunday until April 8.

No word yet on whether there are plans to make a short Web reality series of The Intern yet but I could see it as another possible extension that provides not only an online contest but a continuing mode for additional Web content that could help fill the time between seasons. For an interesting related idea, see Comcast/Endemol's Ten Day Take contest. Also, regarding the idea of using transmedia content to fill the content gap between seasons, see what ABC Family attempted to do surrounding its television movie Fallen.

Yahoo! is one of the partners in the Convergence Culture Consortium but was not contacted in any way regarding this post.