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Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Interview with Calvin Carter, Founder and President, Bottle Rocket (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, Jul 1st 2013

Sramana Mitra: Are you familiar with a company called Trion Worlds?

Calvin Carter: No.

SM: Trion is a really hot gaming company. They work in collaboration with HBO and they released a TV series and a game together. The program is called Defiance.

CC: Yes, I am familiar with Defiance. They released a game that goes along with a TV series. Branding different games and leveraging other content inside of a game has been going on for a long time. Major movies like Batman, for example, will usually have a console game or more likely a mobile game.

SM: But this one is integrated into a TV show. It is happening on a weekly basis. Things that are happening in the game are tied in to what is happening in the show. It is progressing in tandem with the game.

CC: That is phenomenal. Very different, but still tied in to what is happening on the show, is the work we did with BET (Black Entertainment Television). While working with BET, we determined that the 106 & Park TV show, which is similar to TRL , or Total Request Live. I do believe that about 10% or 15% of their viewers use the app on a regular basis along with viewing the show. It is a pretty good number. In doing that work we wanted to create an experience similar to what you described, which was tied to what was going on in the show. When we started learning about the BET brand, we found out that the star in their logo is very meaningful. It means “I can be a star, too. I want to be on stage, too.” So we created that opportunity.

The app has multiple things that are tied into the live broadcast. For example, there is live voting, so they ask the audience to launch the app and to submit their votes. Another one would be the way that we handle what is called 106 Nation. Everyone who has the app can launch it, but we have to be privacy log compliant. With those things complied, we pass a location data to a server that basically chews on that data and provides it to the live show. Then they have touchscreens on the show that the celebrity host walks up to, and then the host can touch Texas, for example, and it expands. Or they pinch-zoom into Dallas and the people there get excited, because they might be the ones getting picked. That is really connecting. It is true interactive TV, when you are really connecting the experience, much bigger than the studio itself. 106 & Park is a very good example of working technology into the core experience of the content of the brand and doing it in a way that makes sense for the viewers. It is another successful endeavor we had.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Mobile and Social: Interview with Calvin Carter, Founder and President, Bottle Rocket
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