Choose Your Own Ending?

As a child, I was an avid fan of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series where pretty much, I am the protagonist in the story and make decisions to determine the plot and action. While this works pretty great for books and print in general, how about television?

Logistically, this would be mean multiple scenes have to be written, filmed and edited. While this is fairly common already for movies, for television, it is still relatively rare given the tight schedules and budgets. CBS in an effort this week if promoting one such rarity by allowing viewers to choose their own ending in the crime drama, Hawaii Five-0.

On January 14, after the holiday hiatus, the series returns and for the first time in television history, viewers will decide the ending of the episode in real time. That’s right. Real time. For the first time, technology is finally here to allow viewer engagement. Years ago, while at Viacom, I had worked on a little show on The N called Beyond the Break. Instead of real time viewer engagement, we had viewers text’d in their choices ahead and aired their choice later. So this project CBS is embarking on is certainly a first in terms of technology deployment.

For Hawaii Five-0, CBS is asking viewers to choose who they believe to be the culprit on CBS.com or via Twitter. Viewers’ votes are tallied in real time and the most popular ending will be broadcast. Personally, I think this definitely takes viewership from being passive to active and engaged.

Will we see more such viewer engagement from other television programs? Only time will tell, and if we get there, I think the way we view TV will be very different moving forward. Imagine a future where the plot is based according to your preferences. Viewers will actually take partial ownership on how a story progress. Think how different popular shows will differ from the format they are now? I can see fans telling the writers what they want and have a say in plot development.

More importantly brands can participate in the story arc development and this will be an amazing opportunity for brand integration. Imagine a scene where a character has to choose between Brand A and Brand B. Viewers will be asked to help the character pick. A typical scenario would be a character buying a car. Which car would be the perfect vehicle for this character? What is more, I can see viewers discussing online why they think Brand A and not Brand B would be appropriate for the character. Again, this creates buzz for brands because viewers are talking, blogging, tweeting, and sharing their thoughts which is a great way of transforming viewers to consumers to brand evangelists.

Brands should seriously consider such participation moving forward. Talk to us at 3A Media. We are here to help make your brand awesome.

Happy New Year


Another year is almost over. We are thankful for our clients for the awesome year and cannot wait for the new opportunities we can create in 2013. We appreciate everyone for their help and contributions for the past year. Without you, we could not have made it.

See you in 2013 and beyond!

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Pass the Note This Holiday Season…

We’ve spent most of our Thanksgiving week working on 2 different projects, one of which we were very excited to launch today. As part of the ongoing campaign to increase awareness on the importance of music education in public schools, VH1 Save the Music continued its #Passthe Note campaign with a holiday themed page.

Accompanying the page, was an excerpt from Christmas Time Is In The Air Again by Mariah Carey, who is one of the new Ambassadors for VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

The one page was created in HTML5 mostly with CSS and Javascripting. To view the full page, go to vh1savethemusic.com/holiday2012 to experience it yourself. The design for the holiday campaign was also carried over to social media sites- Twitter and Facebook. Check out the screen grabs.

 

 

Apple’s “Exploding” iPod Ad

This just came in this morning, Apple is running a series of online creative featuring 3D “exploding” iPods on various websites. We took a quick look and it was impressive. What made it even more interesting to us is this was NOT done in FLASH and probably in HTML5. We are suspecting Canvas but not sure. We will take a peek at the code some time when we can.

Check this cool creative on Facebook from Dunhill

We have all seen brands using their Facebook albums to post their ads. They are mostly poster type, and static, and probably variations of a creative. However this one from Alfred Dunhill and Rally Nippon in Japan tops it all. Rather than being another album full of static ads, the creative took a series of stop-motion images and compiled them into an album. The user has to keep clicking on Next to see the full motion of the creative and it can be fun but carpal tunnel inducing. However this being Facebook, we did experience some glitches occasionally ruining the stop motion experience. Still by the mere fact that we are tapping on our MacBook Pros to keep the image moving says a lot of user engagement.

Check it out here.

 

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#PasstheNote Sounds Off VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s Ambassador Class of 2013

So after weeks of planning, we are very excited to be part of the launch for VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s Ambassador Class of 2013 featuring Mariah Carey, Andy Grammer, B.o.B., Robin Thicke, LeAnn Rimes, Matchbox 20, Henrik Lundqvist and Ingrid Michaelson. The campaign kicked off with a teaser, #Passthenote on November 10th on VH1SaveTheMusic.com and over the weekend, gained momentum in Twitterverse.

The Gift of Revenge… by Target + Neiman Marcus

Last night’s episode of Revenge featured an integrated marketing campaign that we have not seen in a very long time. Retailers, Target and Neiman Marcus, showcased their holiday collection by featuring its items in the show’s story arc (albeit without brand mentions) and an extended content that ran throughout the commercial pods during the broadcast. Back in October, AdAge had ran an article announcing the partnership launch for the holiday season. In this age of DVR, where consumers no longer watch :30 spots, personally we find long form commercials worked better in terms of engagement, creative values and recall.

Aptly entitled “The Gift of Revenge” the creative features various cast members, (None of the leads were featured- Emily Van Camp, Madeleine Stowe etc. Perhaps they come across as too vengeful/villainous as characters for a holiday campaign), receiving mysterious gifts and an invitation to be at a certain place at a certain time. During each commercial pod, a different character or characters was featured to carefully showcase the organic aspect of the retailers with the creative. I.e. The first pod featured the characters Jack and fake “Amanda”- the happy couple sitting at some fancy dinner restaurant. The next pod featured Charlotte, trying on dresses but finding nothing fits, and then mysteriously receiving a gift with the perfect dress inside. It’s by Lela Rose for those curious. Pretty much the creative is the same formula. By the last commercial pod, the cast, together with extras all gathered at some secret location where they were treated to a pop-rock performance and all is revealed together with more must-buys from Target and Neiman Marcus.

The campaign went beyond on-air as we did a checked this morning with a social media aspect on Twitter, #GiftofRevenge being displayed on the lower third during in-programming time  and even the actor Gabriel Mann, tweeting in character as Nolan Ross, and on Facebook, a branded photo gallery featuring products from the creative, as well as videos featuring products shot in the same treatment from the Gift of Revenge theme.

 

 

 

More videos, featuring brands from Neiman Marcus and Target, as well as from the show, Revenge, can be found on their respective YouTube channels and ABC.com.

From a strategy point of view, this is a great way to generate buzz, especially amongst fans of the ABC show. By starting off on-air and directing the attention online, social media and in-store, the retailers are extending the brand of the show- namely the “Hamptons” lifestyle and glamour into its holiday campaign in a way that viewers and consumers can aspire and have a reference to. (As an FYI, the show is actually filmed in North Carolina, hence we tend to giggle a little bit every time they show exterior shots which totally is far from the Hamptons landscape.) However, by selling the concept that consumers too can have a “Revenge” holiday, “The Gift of Revenge” et al, it is treading on thin ice and may put off holiday traditionalists. Personally, we are not sure if we should be excited if we are to receive a gift of revenge, cold or hot, but we do applaud the double entendre usage of the word revenge.  Also, by carefully selecting the more likeable and “innocent” characters- i.e. Jack, Nolan, Charlotte, to be featured versus the main characters (Emily, Victoria, Conrad etc.) who are more insidious, makes the creative more friendly, though it would be interesting to see the treatment the creative will give them.

In terms of execution, we think audiences would appreciate it given that there are less commercials to deal with, and the commercials themselves continued the story arc of the series organically, which engages them.

What do you think? Sound off your thoughts with us on our  Facebook book wall.

 

#Passthenote @VH1SaveTheMusic

So the campaign teaser has officially launched. Stay tuned for the next few days to find out what it is all about. Your call to action: Tweet about it using the hashtag #Passthenote.

 

Visit VH1SaveTheMusic.com to learn more.

Sneak peek of our hobby…

From time to time, our designers take their free time to work on their hobbies that sometimes become full blown projects. We are excited about this little hobby that is going to become an actual project that we are focusing on at our leisure. Things are shaping up, and we will share more when we have all the legal stuff covered.

VH1 Save The Music Ambassador Badges

Soon to appear on a celebrity website near you…

 

Making Awesome!

We are a passionate group of creators, thinkers, innovators, strategists, entrepreneurs… who strongly believe in delivering solutions that are organic, engaging and effective for your brand. By combining our diverse skills of strategy, technology, creative and media, we have the ingredients to make your brand awesome!

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