Want to get up close and personal with stars on your iPad? Perhaps poke a bit of fun while you're there. The new BBC iPlayer (Global) campaign shows us how...
As part of a global marketing campaign to introduce the BBC iPlayer (an interactive iPad app which offers access to a comprehensive catalogue of BBC programmes) worldwide, BBH, New York and BBC Worldwide have launched 'Touch the Stars.'
As well as television spots [see right] and interactive ads, the campaign includes 'Poke Ricky' - a fun Facebook app
that urges users to poke Ricky Gervais in the face to their heart's content. The interactive campaign highlights the tactile viewing experience of the online television service. The app has been designed to make use of the same simple finger movements that BBC Worldwide fans will be able to use on the iPlayer (Global)
on their iPads.
Will Misselbrook, Head of Interactive Production at BBH, New York says: "The premise was to allow people to use their cursor on the microsite & Facebook app to play with the celeb's face. This was achieved by filming a number reactions of their face, such as their eyes closing. Then in post we stitched these together onto a master plate."
Like the 'Poke Ricky' game, the television spots focus on a single finger that amusingly enters the frame to manipulate and poke the face of BBC television stars including Ricky Gervais, Rick Stein and Bruce Parry in order to provide a clear link to the physical experience of using the iPlayer app on their iPads.
"When we captured the content, the set up was very simple," says MisselBrook.
"We shot the content on one locked off camera and cropped in on the celebrities' faces which were beautifully lit with a white backdrop - their heads had to remain completely still. We used the television spots to capture the relevant visuals. From here, similar to the television spots, we asked them a series of questions based on topics suited for each celebrity.
"The video on the Facebook app has numerous hotspots of localised facial reactions like eye twitching, which respond in kind to the actions of the user's cursor. We utilised Flash 10 to do things like blurring and smudging certain parts of the face, thus stimulating skin being touched."
The Facebook integration will round out the larger BBC iPlayer global marketing campaign that has been designed to showcase the technology and design involved when viewers use the app.
John Patroulis, Chief Creative Officer at BBH, New York says: "We simply used a finger throughout the entire campaign - from the films to the 'Poke Ricky' app - to make something that was not only entertaining and fun, but that also educates people about the benefits of using the iPlayer."
'Poke Ricky' was built in Flash and designed for compatibility with Flash players, version 10 onwards. The main video is played via a small, progessive download. The interactive elements and overlays are preloaded before the experience starts so there is no time delay.