Fans Influence the Outcome of Continuum’s Season Finale

We passed the stage where TV writers and producers are doing more than scouring the Web for feedbacks from the viewers. The current digital and social media initiative of the Canadian science-fiction TV series Continuum demonstrates how you can build awareness, stimulate discussions amongst viewers and easily monitor it.

This case illustrates a good use of technology that their viewers already use. Where they innovate is in the way that they deepen the storytelling of the show and engage the fans of the show. The ongoing pro- and anti-Liber8 conflict within Continuum is an ideal setting for creating a buzz. Therefore, it is not surprising that they built the initiative around this debate. As a reward for participating, the voices of the fans online will determine the outcome of the season’s finale. Every time you share, your side has one more chance of winning.

To give you a little background about this Canadian TV series, Continuum opposes two views of the future. A few time-traveller rebels are trying to change the future while a police officer from the future tries to stop them. On TV, Continuum tells the story in a way that exposes the pros and cons of each side. People do things for personal gains. On both sides, the characters have their flaws and their strenghts. Plus, each side committed and continues to commit sins for their cause. Therefore, choosing a side might not be as simple as it seems. The storyline is such that fans want to get involved in the debate.

How Does it Work?

This digital and social media initiative uses Facebook, Twitter, and Vine. A hashtag and a Twitter handle identify each side (#Liber8Now @Liber8Now #1FutureOurWay @1FutureOurWay).  After each episode of the second season, a Vine video is released with an additional message from each side.

The more you share for your side, the more you increase its chance of winning and ultimately, to influence the outcome of the season’s finale.
Viewers are invited to promote their side by sharing their opinions, vote, picture, or video on Twitter and Facebook or by expressing their views on their own Vine videos. A scoring algorithm determines the influence points of each side based on what the fans have shared.

continuum score influence

Added Benefit

More than just a marketing campaign, it is also a pool of valuable information for the producers and the writers of the Continuum. They get valuable information about how each episode was perceived and what their audience think at that moment.

As a fan of Continuum, I can tell you that I am intrigued by the outcome of this initiative. Season two is already airing in Canada on Showcase. Syfy will start to air it June 7th in the United States.

If you wish to know more about the idea behind the Continuum’s Choose your Side initiative developed by Secret Location and Showcase, watch this video

Food for Thought

A digital initiative is more likely to work if it developed around what drives people and what get them excited. In the case of Continuum, providing a platform where the viewers can debate their opinions was the answer. The solution gives the fans a reason to share and makes it easy for them to spread their thoughts.