Last year Bravo launched Play Live, a new participation TV product across the network on special episodes inviting our already passionate fans to play along, share their voice and participate with shows in real time.
This experience took interaction to a whole new level using a multi-platform user interface and blending traditional on-air graphic systems with the more robust and sophisticated animation capabilities of digital platforms.
In both live and pre-taped show environments, Play Live made the fans part of the show experience, not just a viewer watching the nights events.
Bravo Network is known for innovation, and surrounding our fans with layers of engagement giving them the Bravo experience when and where they want it. Play Live delivers on a new promise of real time interactivity bringing Participation TV to a new level during Bravo’s most anticipated shows. Play Live is a new way for Bravo fans to enjoy their favorite shows along with other fans, encourages live viewing, and provides a deeper level of engagement.
Play Live is part of the broadcast stream, so it reaches the entire audience; and it’s accessible and easy to use on any device (mobile, tablet, desktop) with instant on-air results. Unlike many existing or previous technologies, there is no app to download or SMS code to remember. A viewer simply points their smartphone, tablet or computer browser to bravotv.com/playlive. This has made for an easy-to-use, easy-to-access experience.
When a Play Live question is about to be asked, on-screen animations appear over the bottom third of the screen. These graphics have been designed to overlay any existing bottom third graphics like a Bravo watermark. The custom animation rolls out across the screen, beginning with the sponsor integration, and then reveals a Play Live logo with a call to action. Meanwhile, on their digital devices, fans see a similar custom animation as they load bravotv.com/playlive.
The graphics on air and on digital devices then simultaneously animate to reveal the poll, trivia question, or rating feature displaying text and images representing possible answers. As the audience begins participating, the on-air and digital graphics fluctuate in relation to the volume each answer is receiving.
Example: As Andy makes New Kids On The Block dance in his studio, the fans can decide which dance moves they should perform; with the votes tabulating instantly on-air and in their digital device. These graphics are not a snapshot in time but rather a real-time tracking of incoming answers. When the Play Live segment is over, flash animations reveal the final answer and then animate off screen.
Sponsors receive the same high quality animations and graphic capabilities for their commercials. The interactive commercial introduces custom Play Live segments over their existing commercial creative. Graphics animate on screen, asking fans to participate – and share socially- with the brand and other fans. At the end of the commercial spot, final results are revealed with the digital devices, offering viewers a chance to link directly to the sponsor site or preferred social platforms.
As a result of our successful campaigns with Watch What Happens Live, Old Navy jumped on board to sponsor 6 episodes of It’s a Brad Brad World, followed by a full season commitment by Capital One to Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles. We have proved on both live programming and in pre-taped shows that this experience is effective, entertaining and continues to drive live viewing across all show formats. Based on this success, Bravo is offering this must-do experience on any show. Most recently, Play Live has expanded to Emmy-Award-Winning Top Chef.
The Play Live experience first launched on Watch What Happens Live, the only live, late night talk show. Host Andy Cohen encouraged fans to weigh in on the night’s topics, send questions for the guests or react to recent events. From its inception, WWHL has sought to push the boundaries of interactive TV. Play Live has taken this interactivity to a whole new level – allowing fans to directly impact what happens in the live show.
Merging on-air broadcast capabilities with digital production processes creates the Play Live system. All graphics are driven by a data feed providing real time answer displays. The same system feeds both the broadcast stream & the digital devices to ensure consistency across the user experience. This is a first in interactive TV – where the entire audience can see such interactive graphics on-air.
Fans love the experience -- spending over 13 min., on average, interacting during the 1/2 hour shows. Ratings on Play Live eps. average 10% higher than non-Play Live eps. Sponsor awareness & retention also grew double digits.
Play Live's innovation has not only brought a higher level of engagement to fans during Bravo shows but also raised the bar on the quality of interactive graphics available to the entire broadcast and digital audience. We are proud to offer this experience for your consideration in the Shorty Awards.
Press acknowledgments: TechCrunch - http://tcrn.ch/Xq5vYR Digital Trends - http://www.digitaltrends.com/lifestyle/backstage-at-watch-what-happens-live-sxsw-2013/
Lisa Hsia , EVP of Digital Media
Aimee Viles , SVP of Emerging Media
Zach Bechtel , Multiplatform Associate Producer of Emerging Media