The Future Is Now
You trembled from "Playtest." You were captivated by "San Junipero." You began to raise an eyebrow halfway through "Shut Up and Dance" because there is no hint on what is happening next. All of this was shared by viewers with the Emmy-winning science-fiction anthology series, Black Mirror, which tends to leave many viewers with an "awe" look on their face after each episode. And they are taking it to the next step.
Leveraging the advancement in technology, the show creators have infused elements of video-game experiences with traditional television for their audience to enjoy with unique endings driven by the choices the viewer makes. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the future of Black Mirror's new "choose your own adventure" episode release, blending television platforms, the future of technology and film.
Choosing Your Own Destiny
In the long-awaited release of season five, viewers will now have the ability to choose their own story-line in one episode. This means the plot of the episode will be in our favor and the lives of the characters will be in our hands as well; that's insane! After all, the show is about our tortured relationship to technology, so why not use technology as a way to bring people deeper into the story?
Customer experience is paramount for Netflix and that is why they are one of the largest platforms for quality television.
The beauty of this show is not only the excellent entertainment and drama, rather it is that the show manages to demonstrate how technology effects our state of mind.
And it explains why this show can, in fact, be terrifying. That's right, I'm talking about the "Playtest" episode where Cooper tested a new video-game while being locked in a home where his nightmares turn into realities. Now that was eerie.
Another Addition to the Group
After having become such an international hit, producers searched for new tactics to lure the remaining viewers who were not avid fans. They partnered up with a California-based company called Los Gatos, who specialize in live-action projects. While many TV viewers have voted for candidates in reality shows like American Idol and The Voice, a narrative TV show that asked viewers to engage with the plot has yet to become a huge hit. Black Mirror has become one of the first television shows to debut live-action interactive programming on Netflix. Or at last the first interactive show for adult viewers as the one to beat them to the punch? The children's show called Puss in Book.
Puss in Book is an interactive animated series that allows viewers to choose what happens to the main character from a limited set of option. The star of the show is the familiar character from the Shrek series, Puss in Boots. The show begins with us [the viewers] choosing Puss's fate of the episode. The show is a hit for parents with toddlers and younger children.
The other television show to debut which wove together video-games and traditional television was Steven Soderbergh's Mosaic. Released in 2018, Mosaic is a whodunit based on the murder of popular children's book author and illustrator Olivia Lake. From overlooking a variety of reviews, this murder mystery show is a huge hit with a nice twist in the end.
Overlapping Platforms for Viewer Pleasure
Netflix is a growing powerhouse in the film industry and they're looking to expand. They are planning to mesh with the cinema scene and release films in theaters before dropping them on the streaming platform. This will give viewers opportunities to view the movie in theaters, then watch it again once the Netflix original is on the website.
Netflix craves customer viewing and having the opportunity for their films to feature in two of the largest movie platforms will enhance publicity for the select films.
The first film to be released in this fashion is The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Announced a little more than a week in advance, the November 8 theatrical release — moved up from a concurring streaming and theaters opening on November 16. However, it wasn't properly advertised and the company received some backlash attempting this new move.
Content Is Evolving
This is the future of television as we know it. Netflix is attempting to become part of all television and movie platforms to satisfy all viewer needs. With the rebirth of interactive TV coming to your own living room, one of the first places I'd recommend tuning in to would be with Black Mirror's new interactive episode.
Fans all over the world are excited about the combination of video game-like features, popular television, and how mind-boggled we are going to be after the installment. With the inspiration from previous interactive television shows for kids, Black Mirror will introduce the first interactive show for adult viewers; so expect things to go off the rails. If this receives glamorous feedback from the fans, expect more of this to be on your television screen; even movie theaters. Netflix is released season five on December 28th, 2018. Grab some snacks, tissues, and a blanket if you're easily frightened and tune in!
Interactive Product Placement
With interactive TV now being a real life option thanks to SVOD internet connectivity, the opportunities for brands are growing even more. In the future, different endings could be sponsored by a brand, with product placement baked into the show as well. Now, more than perhaps ever before, brands should be exploring opportunities to become part of the storyline.
If you are interested in having your brand interwoven into a script, just another form of branded content, then read our blog on 3 Reasons Why Productions Use Product Placement. Then check out these blogs are team has written to get a better understanding for the opportunities out there!
- 4 Common Myths About Product Placement Debunked
- 10 Surprising Reasons Why Brands Do Product Placement
- 8 Ways To Use Product Placement Assets To Amplify Your Brand Into Sales
- 3 Important Steps In Planning Product Placement Strategy
- Thinking Product Placement Cost Is High (It Isn't!)
And make sure you download our Product Placement 101 guide which will help your brand get off on the right path!