MBC launches new TV drama
Dubai, January 16, 2012
MBC Group has launched the Middle East’s first experiential TV drama, 04 (“zero four”). The drama went on air on January 14.
Ali Jaber, group TV director at MBC Group, said that 04 is the name of an ‘entirely new TV experience’ that forms one of the centre-pieces of MBC4’s prime time schedule in 2012.
“At the heart of ‘04’ lies a TV drama revolving around the lives of four young men as they grapple with their day-to-day lives in Dubai. However, the 04 concept extends far beyond a traditional TV drama,” Jaber said.
“As part of this, viewers are able to track each character’s thoughts and life in real time through their social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and even follow one character’s online blog. But, like the real world, this isn’t a one-way conversation as characters can engage with friends and followers,” he added.
It amounts to a whole new TV experience that blurs the lines between reality and fiction and responds to the evolving desires of the youth audience to be engaged, entertained and involved.
Mazen Hayek, MBC’s official spokesman, group director of PR and commercial, said it represented a breakthrough in the way media channels conceive and deliver entertainment content to an increasingly media savvy and mobile audience.
“It is a recognition of the rapidly discerning nature of the youth audience and the increasingly competitive nature of our business. Channels that stand still and fail to recognise and embrace the way that young people live their lives and move today will find themselves becoming irrelevant and out of touch – fast.” Hayek said.
“04 is about more than four young men, it’s about reflecting the lives of every youth out there and the struggles they face in a rapidly changing world. This is about listening to an audience that has rarely been heard - and responding to it, engaging them on their terms and giving them a voice and platform to talk to us – and each other,” he added.
‘04’ launches with the first season of 20 episodes, a statement from the company said.
The series is accompanied by a live microsite that integrates feeds from the 04 social universe including character Facebook updates, Tweets, Google + hangouts, blog posts and an evolving suite of new and innovative features over the year. Online character personalities are fully integrated with those seen in the series with updates even happening as episodes are airing.
Equally, digital media is being used to provide extra content, including exclusive ‘webisodes’ and trailers that provide viewers with further insights into character backgrounds and evolving storylines between seasons. All of this follows one of the most innovative transmedia teaser campaigns in the region that embraced the best of traditional and digital media to build interest and engagement in the concept.
Fadi Ismail, executive producer and general manager of O3 Productions, said: “It’s a whole new way of looking at TV. From the writing, the directing, the format, the microsite, the whole transmedia engagement idea, even the title sequence. We’re talking about nothing less than a reimagining of TV, and the first example of what I hope will become the industry standard in years to come.”
04 is a joint production between MBC Group Content, 03 Productions and BPG Group, who are partnering as marketing, creative, digital and target audience consultants, the statement said. – TradeArabia News Service
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