The microsite built for new local show Step Dave by TVNZ Blacksand could the first of many that extend what broadcast viewers experience.
Blacksand senior digital producer Amie Mills says TV2's efforts to complement the big screen story online began in earnest with the Shortland Street summer campaign, which gave clues as to which character would meet their demise after last season's cliffhanger.
The Step Dave site has character information, specially made video, extra scenes and a digital version of the main character Dave's fridge. Blacksand will change the magnets and notes on the virtual fridge every few weeks to coincide with events screened during the show's 13 weeks, says Mills.
"The thinking behind the fridge was that this nice social thing happens [in the show] and what happens in people's lives. You see Dave's fridge and Cara, Marion and the three kids' and the differences between them."
Blacksand works closely with Step Dave creator and head writer Kate McDermott and producer Mark Beesley on the site content and it offers a chance to give depth to the stories surrounding the cast of supporting characters, she says. McDermott also scripted the videos made for the site.
"Something Kate and I discussed when we were developing this idea is there's so much life she creates around the satellite characters. This allows us to tell their stories with richer and deeper stories around characters that don't get as much airtime on the show."
TVNZ wants to develop more transmedia campaigns like this, Mills says. "This campaign is a mark of where [TV2] is pushing the boundaries in transmedia content. Everybody is looking in that dual screen space and the experience people get when they look online as well."
She adds the Shortland Street summer campaign showed the importance of a responsive site for Step Dave, because more than 50 percent of the visitors to the Shortland Street site were from mobile users.