SILVER: Best Transmedia
Epitome Pictures / YTV / TeenNick - Open Heart Interactive
Open Heart's groundbreaking, integrated, crossplatform experience harnessed the power of mobile technologies to create an immediate, intimate and impactful next-generation story that was relevant to its millennial audience. The brand told the story of Dylan Blake across TV, mobile and online (web and social media), with new content rolled out every day.
The main interactive component was the "Open Heart: Unlocked" app, which launched on Jan. 20, 2015 in Canada and the United States, before the premiere of the series, Open Heart, on YTV and TeenNick. The day of the premiere, the app reached the Top 20 in the App Stores Free Entertainment Apps category and through its lifetime garnered 1,222,406 sessions lasting an average of 5:45 minutes with a 76% return rate from users.
In the end, over 7 million minutes were enjoyed on the app, which adds up to 13 years.
The thought process and execution of this brand spanned multiple departments and truly married the development, production and broadcast teams on both the television and interactive side.
In Open Heart, 16-year-old Dylan Blake takes the investigation surrounding her father's disappearance into her own hands. It's natural that the character used her mobile device to take pictures, record videos, communicate with friends (and enemies), in order to collect and catalogue clues essential to her father's story. Like many contemporary teenagers, her mobile device is an extremely personal item. Therefore, we decided to make an "unlocked" version of her mobile phone available to our teen audience, who would likely use their mobile device similarly, if necessary.
The app created a simple and powerful bond between the TV character and the audience that was intimate and relatable. We believed access to Dylan's mobile could offer unprecedented insight to both Open Heart's central mystery and Dylan's deeper, more internal personal growth.
Creatively, the project accurately captured our proposal. Open Heart's cross-platform plan was to create an application that could unlock Dylan Blake's phone. The vision was to integrate this concept into the writing of the TV show, meaning both television and interactive writers had to join forces. Therefore, instances of TV action were penned specifically to allow audiences to move between TV and mobile with ease and poignancy. For example, the photos that Dylan took as clues in the series, during the first broadcast episode, were instantly uploaded to the app as soon as she took them, giving audiences the chance to look at the picture taken on TV in real time.
As well, a broader narrative plan was executed to dispatch content in between episodes, keeping audiences engaged with, and chatting about, the characters and the mystery throughout the season. Prior to the premiere, Dylan's unlocked mobile allowed audiences to piece the rich media backstory with a prequel that set up the first scene in the television series. In between episodes, content such as images and text messages were rolled out in anticipation of the upcoming episodes, which encouraged viewers to tune in for the next broadcast. Open Heart fans were engaged 24/7 and were only a heartbeat away from the mystery.
Furthermore, our broadcast partners, YTV and TeenNick, empowered audiences via social media, triggering a call to action in which viewers would be rewarded with a vital clue outside of those collected by Dylan.
The Open Heart brand also held live chats on Twitter and conducted Google Hangouts with the cast. There was also a behind-the-scenes video series on the website called the Doctor's Office, which gave viewers a recap of the series.
In the end, Open Heart was able to engage its millennial audience on multiple platforms by tailoring the experience in a way that would be understood and mimicked by that demographic.
Client: Epitome Pictures (DHX Media) / YTV (Corus Entertainment) / TeenNick
Executive Producer: Mark J.W. Bishop
Executive Producer: Matthew Hornburg
Executive Producer: Jean-Guy Niquet
Executive Producer: Johnny Kalangis
Content Producer: Slavica Ceperkovic