Shortland Street returned on Monday and while fans mourn the loss of Dr Wendy Cooper, TVNZ are celebrating the success of its summer campaign.
TVNZ Blacksand used Wirewax software for The Living Moment campaign, which allowed for the promo video to be paused and delved into by viewers. Each week a new hotspot was unlocked with a new piece of video going deeper into the story and its characters. From the videos, viewers could figure out who would survive the horrific event in last year's cliffhanger. The final hotspot also gave viewers a sneak peek of what was to come when the programme returned.
TVNZ’s general marketing manager Sarah Finnie says the activation kept fans engaged over the hiatus period with many participating in social media conversations as the weekly clues were revealed.
The interactive campaign was a first for TVNZ, and no doubt they will be using Wirewax technology in the future after this.
The Living Moment is in the top 10 performing WireWax campaigns globally and is the second highest campaign running right now by active audience share (percent of audience who are actively interacting and engaged).
In total, the campaign has had 410,026 interactions with viewers spending more than two minutes in the experience and interacting, on average, more than three times.
Finnie credits the Shortland Street community for the success saying they are most engaged community in New Zealand. She says it is “very likely” they will continue to engage with them using Wirewax software throughout the year.
“From a storytelling perspective there is a lot more we could do.”
Interaction with the campaign isn’t all TVNZ is celebrating. 526,900 people tuned in to watch the returning episode giving it a 14.7 rating. It also received a 45.8 share of its target age of 18-to-49-year-olds.
“To keep people engaged and have them come back after the hiatus period just shows what good health Shortland Street is in,” Finnie says.
While the campaign aimed to keep loyal fans engaged over the break, it was also implemented to talk to fans who may have lapsed or lost engagement in the storyline, Finne says. Last year's cliffhanger received a 42.2 share suggesting the campaign brought fresh fans to the show (Shortland Street also ran a successful campaign during its hiatus last year).
“We have seen Shortland Street grow and grow and grow in that half of the year and then there was that great cliffhanger. It’s such a good story line and such a good campaign so we have new viewers - absolutely.”
The new viewers may be behind the cliffhanger's 95,000 OnDemand streams over the last five weeks, the second highest number of streams for a Shortland Street episode. Monday's returning episode clocked up 43,000 OnDemand streams in its first day and a half.
And as further indication of how engaged Shortland Street viewers are with the show, one particularly hooked fan has promised to wear black to show her condolences following the chaos in the cafeteria.