The first step to breaking any addiction is admitting you have a problem.

So, here it goes: I have been a long-time addict of the Bachelor and Bachelorette.

There, I said it!

I know it’s trashy, reality TV and that these poor couples have extremely low odds ending up in a successful, lasting relationship. Most importantly, I know I’m giving up several precious hours of my time each week to watch this trash. Perhaps I, too, have fallen victim to great advertising.

The Bachelor empire has mastered three aspects of advertising that lure me in:

Emotional Pulls

The show is notorious for selecting hopeful candidates that have a sad story (widowed, battled an illness, loss of family members, addiction – the list goes on). Producers exploit these sensitive and emotional issues to reel in viewers. The show positions these life tragedies and struggles as a playing card in the game.

Culturally Relevant

Girls are raised to want the fairytale ending and the happily ever after. While we know that’s not the real world, we do know that dating is tough and can sometimes feel like a contest. The show dramatizes that aspect of the real world and heightens the level of competition amongst the contestants.

Social Media & Blog 

Not only can I watch the show, but now I can learn juicy secrets, watch extra footage and read the bachelor and bachelorette blog to understand what they were thinking at that point in the show. These details are usually more exciting than what you hear or see on the show, which is a great way to keep viewers coming back to digital formats.

When reality TV shows first came out, they were popular for the novelty. The successful reality shows that have lasted through the years have learned the importance of and mastered the art of branding, marketing and social media.

Tell us what shows have mastered to get you hooked.