BBC Launches Multi-Platform, Interactive ‘Proper Messy’

Jan 22nd, 2009 | By | Category: General

BBC Switch, the broadcast corporation’s youth brand, is launching a new “interactive” teen-oriented drama, “Proper Messy,” across the range of platforms popular with the young crowd. The show debuts January 24, and viewers can watch on tv (BBC 2), online (BBC Switch site) and on social networking site Bebo.

What makes this program interesting (to people outside the age 13-17 target audience, anyhow) is addition of an interactive element to the show. Viewers can sign up to send and receive text messages from Imogen and Jake, the series’ two main characters. The audience’s text-message responses can influence the story line of subsequent episodes.

Proper Messy’s prequel episode is here. The show will have six episodes in all, and is something of an experiment. An article in new media age reports that “the interactive series was being used to test viewers’ mobile TV habits.”

Mobile-influencers will be limited to the first 2500 (according to BBC Switch) or 5000 (according to nma) who sign up. That perceived “scarcity” of openings, paired with the possibility of your participation affecting the story arc, are an interesting tactic to drive initial interest, and sustain interest throughout the series.

Early response (among grown-ups, anyhow) has been favorable. PR firm 10 Yetis says that, to be successful, “Proper Messy” will have “to blur the divide between online and offline media, and to be fair, from what this Yeti has seen, they’re doing a pretty sweet job of it.”

As the television audience continues to move more of its video consumption away from scheduled, in-the-living-room viewing, we think more shows will be moving to short-form, interactive, multi-platform programming.

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One Response to “BBC Launches Multi-Platform, Interactive ‘Proper Messy’”

  1. […] ‘Proper Messy‘ (January 2009) A teen drama from Switch. “Proper Messy was an exciting new interactive drama where YOU could influence the story … As well as weekly episodes on BBC Two there was loads of stuff on bebo and extra exclusive vids online each week. If you were aged 13-17 you could have also signed up to get texts EVERY DAY from the two main characters Imogen or Jake. … This is where things really got exciting – if their texts stirred you into action you could reply and your comments could have influenced the decisions they made. And, what was even better is that it was all free!” (Review) […]

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