As a premium network, STARZ wanted to enhance the programming experience of the Original Series, Da Vinci’s Demons. Our solution was a unique and fully immersive content consumption experience for iPad that we called Citizens of Florence.
Given the rich subject matter, Da Vinci’s Demons was the ideal show for a companion application. Consumers were given the choice of exploring the world of Da Vinci’s Demons through a map-based experience of Florence, or syncing in real-time with each episode. Every episode unlocks new content about the characters, places, and inventions from the show in real-time. The Citizens of Florence app was a true companion to the series. To ensure that the story and experience were not only complimentary, but also authentic and additive, we needed the help of the show’s creators and writers. And we worked hand in hand with them to develop custom content that really did expand Da Vinci experience for our viewers.
As a testament to the technology and innovation of the app, it was featured (and even promoted) within Apple’s app store; it was in the New and Noteworthy section for the entire length of Da Vinci’s Demons’ season.
Strategic Pillar #1: Do Not Disrupt The Viewer:
In the process of researching companion apps for competitive shows, we noticed that the experiences were disruptive to the premium viewing experience. They were heavy on engagement during the linear viewing of the show, and short on custom content that extended the experience after.
Our strategy was to give viewers premium content in the very best way - how they want, when they want. In addition, we wanted to fulfill our mission – STARZ is Taking You Places - by building worlds in which consumers can fully immerse themselves. In a world where television consumption is as varied as the programs available to view, Citizens of Florence was built with every audience type in mind; time-shifted views, binge viewers, video-on-demand, DVD, and more.
Strategic Pillar #2: Provide Innovative, Complimentary Content:
Citizens of Florence provides an amazing, synchronous experience; the iPad app actually listens and recognizes what episode you’re watching, and dynamically unlocks interactive content in real-time. By utilizing true audio fingerprinting technology, the app knows exactly where you are in the show. For each episode, the app reveals a timeline of individual artifacts in sketch format. As these artifacts appear on the show, the sketches on the app transform to reveal their true identity. Furthermore, each episode unlocks an exclusive Leonardo da Vinci invention. To gain access to da Vinci’s inventions, users perform one of several simple challenges and puzzles; once a challenge is successfully completed, the user can freely view these inventions in stunning 360-degree format.
Strategic Pillar #3: Enable Immersive Exploration:
Users can choose to take a tour of 1477 Florence through the eyes of an actual citizen of the city. Based on the character selected, their ability to interact with artifacts within the city varies. Users can fully explore Florence, as well as the surrounding areas that play a pivotal role in the series. Throughout the map, there are numerous locations or hotspots that users can zoom into, and actually enter, to immerse themselves in the various details within those locations.
Strategic Pillar #4: Develop Copious Amounts of High Quality Content
Users can explore 24 gorgeous panoramic locations, shot on location, each synced to the artifacts collected from the show. Throughout the season new locations appear, as well as over 80+ artifacts to populate each location. There were also over 50 videos providing over an hour of custom content; these included clips of show creator David S. Goyer, historians, extended scenes, inventions, and sneak peeks.
Working closely with show creator, David S. Goyer, the Citizens of Florence iPad app complimented and enhanced the linear viewing experience, providing our audiences with numerous opportunities for rewarding engagement.
Evaluation of Success / Results / ROI
The Citizens of Florence iPad app was built specifically as a companion app; a second screen audio synch application in iOS for the iPad. Based on this, the results were extremely strong. Statistically speaking we had:
• 20,412 downloads of the app over the course of the season of Da Vinci’s Demons (8 weeks).
• 3,964,055 page views of the app.
• 62,411 unique visits.
• 18 minutes and 26 seconds was the average time spent per user.
• 3,231 opt-ins for future communication from STARZ and Da Vinci’s Demons.
The icing on the cake was being named as one of the “Top 10 second-screen mobile campaigns of 2013” by Mobile Marketer.
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Erin Dwyer, Executive Director, Digital Marketing, STARZ
Tricia Espinoza, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, STARZ
Julianne Wilson, Manager, Digital Marketing
Alex Sanger, SVP Interactive, And Company
Joshua Smith, Creative Director, And Company
Ailine Tan, Account Manager, And Company
Barry Hamaguchi, Art Director, And Company
Charlotte West, Senior Designer, And Company
Katherine Prendergast, Designer, And Company
Chris Colinsky, Developer, And Company
Geoff Gannon, Developer, And Company
Alex Enriquez , Copywriter, And Company