Run the Red Develop Pick-a-path Interactive Story Technology
New Zealand company Run The Red has provided TVNZ On Demand with the SMS functionality to drive the new format interactive web drama Reservoir Hill.
This first of its kind in New Zealand was a story that users of the TVNZ website could actively take part to determine the ending of the current episode.
Simon Elder, Online Editor of TV & Entertainment for TVNZ Digital Media was pleased with this New Zealand first initiative.
“Reservoir Hill folds the audience into the storytelling process like no other New Zealand drama before it. The ability to influence events in Reservoir Hill by texting Beth, the central character and giving her advice, has resonated brilliantly with TVNZ On Demand users. We’re delighted with the show’s performance,” says Elder.
The drama follows Beth Connolly, a teen who moves to a new suburb after her parents separate. The show explores issues faced by teens, and the tech-savvy ‘Twilight generation’ are able to communicate with Beth. Cleverly combining several types of media – TV drama, SMS and the Internet, it effectively creates a modern day “Pick-a-Path”.
The first episode had a fantastic response. Thousands watched the drama in the first few hours, resulting in several hundred viewers communicating with the show via text messaging. TVNZ On Demand screens a new episode of the dark and edgy drama every Monday afternoon, which is viewed exclusively through the web.
Run The Red is a digital mobile marketing company active in New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and the USA. Since 1999, Run The Red has been developing award-wining campaigns, successfully executing campaigns for leading brands including BP, Vodafone, Disney, SKY, Telecom, Kiwibank, Lion Nathan, MySpace, Facebook and Optus.
Ben Northrop, Run The Red CEO, says the Run The Red team are thrilled to be involved with the innovative new drama.
“It’s a fantastic project that we’re really excited about. We’ve wanted to involve mobile with TV for years now, and the KHF Media guys have come up with a great concept. Allowing viewers to interact with a character at the end of each episode is completely new, and an exciting preview into how mobile and TV can work together.”
With Reservoir Hill, each text from a viewer could actually help determine the direction for the next episode. Viewers have from Monday to Wednesday each week to watch the latest episode and text their message at the end of the show. Amazingly the text from the viewer appears in a bonus scene and the viewer can see Beth read their message on her phone. The production team then analyse the audience feedback, before going into production of the new episode each week.
More information: http://www.tvnz.co.nz/reservoirhill