The Next Step Interactive is a personalized mobile and desktop digital experience for Family Channel’s new hit series, The Next Step. The fictional reality show follows the lives of a group of elite dancers as they work to win the regional competition.
The core of the digital experience is an interactive Aftershow that straddles TV and web – each Aftershow episode begins with a 2 minute lead-in on-air, with hosts then throwing directly to the web URL, where the Aftershow continues seamlessly and concludes. With a responsive HTML5 and Flash design hybrid, The Next Step Aftershow features a second screen experience, including interactive polls, trivia, dance lessons and bonus clips.
Beyond that, the site’s groundbreaking Dance Mashup section allows fans to create a signature routine at home with the chance to see themselves online, dancing in the Aftershow.
The television producers, Temple Street Productions, approached us to develop a concept for a digital extension to the TV series and execute a creative project that strategically aligned with the broadcaster, Family Channel, and Temple Street’s distinct needs.
Temple Street Productions wanted to produce a digital program online that allowed audiences to engage in web-exclusive content and create their own personalized experience. Their key goals were to get fans to keep coming back to the site and to provide a way for them access more show materials beyond the aired episodes.
Working with the TV producers, we produced and shot thirty Interactive Aftershow episodes that launch immediately after each Next Step broadcast. The first two minutes of the corresponding interactive Aftershow episode airs on Family Channel. At the conclusion of this kick-off segment, the host pushes the audience to the online experience where they can continue watching the Aftershow.
When the user lands on the site, they’re able to watch the interactive episode, and participate in polls, trivia and bonus videos, creating their own unique version of an Aftershow. A “Dance Along” video submitted by users and selected from the Dance Mashup section is featured at the end of every Aftershow.
The Dance Mashup section of the site allows users to play choreographer, arranging signature show dance moves to create their own unique dance number.
Users are introduced to 11 show dancers and are prompted to select one from an interactive video lineup to begin the experience. The site then transitions to a custom-built Mashup editor where users can select from over 122 signature dance moves to choreograph a personalized one-minute dance routine.
The dance moves represent a variety of dance styles, including urban, hip-hop, jazz, classical and modern. Users are able to further personalize their Mashup by selecting music and filter effects. Alternatively, they can use the “Pick for Me” functionality to automatically fill up their Mashup timeline with random dance moves.
A preview of the user’s dance routine in full frame video assembles videos of show dancers performing the moves from three different camera angles, creating a dynamic dance video feel.
After creating a Mashup, users are encouraged to perform their custom routines, and record and upload their performances for a chance to be featured in the site’s video gallery and on The Aftershow.
Users can also share their video creations with friends by providing a URL that can be shared through email.
Finally, in About The Show, a Music section allows users to play show songs that are released throughout the season.
The site received lots of great feedback from the broadcaster, the TV producers and, most importantly, the users. In the first week, it generated over twice as many page views as all other Family Channel show sites combined for the same period.
In the first few months after launch, fans showed off their moves in the Dance Mashup section, by posting over 1,000 Dance Along videos, exceeding the broadcaster’s expectations and goals outlined during development.
Live statistics powered by Google Analytics:
Unique Visitors: 1,480,161
Bounce Rate: 4.11%
Average time on site: 06:04 minutes
|Canadian Screen Awards & Nominations|
|2014 Best Cross-Platform Project - Children's and Youth||Family Channel, Temple Street Productions|
|AToMiC Awards & Nominations|
|2014 Best Transmedia (Silver)||Family Channel, Temple Street Productions|
|Kidscreen Awards & Nominations|
|2013 Best Tweens/Teens - Companion Website (Shortlisted)||Family Channel, Temple Street Productions|
|FITC Awards & Nominations|
|2014 Web Based Game (Flash / Unity) (Nominee)||Family Channel, Temple Street Productions|
|Digi Awards & Nominations|
|2013 Best in Cross-Platform Kids||Family Channel, Temple Street Productions|