10 of the Best Multi-platform Broadcast Projects

HBO CubeMulti-platform programming is the holy grail of broadcasters. When it works, it elevates an idea to a previously-impossible level of purposefulness and/or engagement. When it doesn’t, well, we’re not interested. It’s a tough old media landscape out there and we only have so much time to spend with our screens.

To cut to the chase, I asked some well-respected netizens to name their favourite multi-platform projects to help crowdsource some examples for a Creative Loop talk about Multi-platform content. After a subjective shuffle of the data, here are the results.

10: Routes

There’s a nice twist in the educational Routes games – instead of lecturing the user about the dangers of sneezing into each other’s faces, it encourages you to run riot, infecting as many kids, adults and old people as possible. It’s the same info, but it’s always more fun to be a little bit evil. Thanks Carole Dunlop.

9: The Big Personality Test – Child of our Time

The BBC should be great at mustering up masses of resources for huge events like this. In depth online questionnaires aim to map the personality of the nation as part of a 20-year project to find out more about who we are. I love the scale of it, but I’m not sure how its parts fit together yet. It’s like a huge unfathomable dinosaur viewed from very close range.

8: KNTV / Slabovia

Slabovia Hearts Pigs [11/04/08 The Potato]Enter the world of Slabovia and cast reality aside. This web, TV and iPhone project from Tern Digital seriously ticks multi-platform box – it even released a record. With plenty of active users and some great UGC, the KNTV definitely made its mark. Plus, it sold potatoes on eBay. Cool.

7: Sexperience

Antonio Gould picked Sexperience as his favourite multi-platform project of the past year. He was impressed by the extent to which it handed over editorship to the users. Not just users, but sexually-preoccupied teenage ones. It’s a gamble that payed off; there’s plenty of excellent content in there.

6: Misfits and Peep Show on Twitter

Misfits and Peep Show get to share a slot here, for essentially doing the same thing – using Twitter in an intelligent and organic way that exploits the story and the style of the TV show. The Peep Show guys tweet using the distinctive personal point of view that characterises the show, and in Misfits, two of the characters reveal thoughts that are not available to on-screen-only viewers. For me, the latter would make for a compelling viewer experience.

5: A History of the World in 100 Objects

As a bit of an ancient world geek, I was pretty excited about this radio and web project by BBC4. It does a really effective job of helping the audience get a grasp of this enormous subject. There is some user participation, but what I really like is that the radio segments are fascinating stand-alone programmes, and also guide the listener to the website. It’s a very classy project.

4: Come Dine With Me Playalong / The Apprentice

These ludic funthings by Monterosa definitely make the list for helping lead the way in the field of play-as-you-watch experiences. Carole Dunlop from TRC picked the Come Dine With Me Playalong, but both games use Monterosa’s innovative Reac TV platform to provide the chance for casual play, whilst still focusing on the TV.

3: HBOImagine – the Affair

I just came across this really clever device by HBO, which was flagged up by Tern TV’s Jamie Gillespie. The four sides of a cube allow the web viewer to view the story – about an affair – from different sides in order to get the full picture. A slick web interface lets you flick from screen to screen, and there is also a physical screen-based version which can be set up in the street. The ultimate in ‘there are little people acting inside my TV’ magic, and definitely the starting point for a new type of storytelling.

2: The Lost Experience

If Lost had the ability to captivate and fanatacise its audience, then the Lost Experience, by Channel 4 and Hi Res! was able to take the most hardcore of those fans and offer them an immersive, personal and satisfying adventure. Secret html code hidden inside blogposts, hieroglyphs planted in the physical world – this project had the confidence to believe that fans would be dedicated to crack its codes and get access to the sub-plot.  Denki’s David Thomson loves the way that it sneaks out of the digital world and into the physical.

Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation of the 3-stage project:

1: Embarrassing Bodies

Embarrassing Bodies, by Maverick TV for Channel 4, is a perfect example of how multiple platforms can be used completely intuitively to benefit the overall aims of a project, which, in this case is to prevent people from ‘dying of embarrassment’. The TV output is attractive-enough family viewing, but the online world of Embarrassing Bodies is brilliantly effective, and the mobile downloads allow those with particular concerns to go off and check their bits and bobs in the privacy of the bathroom. Simple.

Have a look at the info video about Embarrassing Bodies below, and be warned that it contains explicit medical nudity:

Did we get it wrong? Feel free to get us told in the comments box below.