To promote the second season of Level Up, Cartoon Network's live action comedy series about high school friends who encounter their online foes in real life, the Level Up: Choose Your Battle experience was created and launched on YouTube (http://youtu.be/aAlsI9bv-YM). This interactive experience lets users choose their own Level Up battle, weaving originally shot video with existing show footage to allow users choose a leak (foe) and a heroic character to engage it in battle. With bad guys leaking out of the video game world and into ours, fans are able to help the Level Up team send them back where they belong. There were a number of objectives for this interactive experience including: • Create awareness and promote tune-in • Effectively represent the show brand and characters • Enable fans to test their knowledge of the characters and their enemy battles • Provide an evergreen solution that will effectively represent the property for successive seasons Level Up is a show squarely aimed at boys, 6 - 14, and throughout its first season was the #1 series in its time period with all key boys. In the development of the Level Up: Choose Your Battle experience, YouTube was identified as having the best venue and opportunity for promotion, especially with the popularity of the Cartoon Network YouTube Channel. Clearly providing the ability to reach our audience, the strategy was to conceptualize a comparable experience that would emulate the show and test the fan knowledge of the characters and situations. Tactics/Execution: The conceptualization and development of the Level Up: Choose Your Battle experience had a lead time of 3 months, which allowed for the perusal of scripts, episodes and all existing video that could be plotted into the interactive storyline that was being constructed. Those missing areas would be shot as original footage on a soundstage and be seamlessly choreographed and ultimately placed alongside existing video. Using a matrix, each response to a question was mapped out with a scenario of what happens if this or that is used as an answer. Tactical approaches and challenges included the following: • Plotted out the entire storyline with an original video production to establish the intent of the experience and how the flow of the experience would evolve with each question response • Culled video from the previous season to enable video battles with a necessity of these battles to being clean and quick - meaning the foe was exterminated in only one effort • Shot original video to introduce and further represent the personality of each character and their super abilities • Introduced some of the more popular characters that appeared in the season and who caused trouble for the Level Up gang • Thoughtfully embedded the Level Up graphics throughout the experience to impress the brand To date, the Level Up: Choose Your Battle experience has garnered over 736k plays which dwarfs the average Level Up YouTube video view by over 200%. The campaign also delivered close to 2 Million impressions, helping to drive our target audience to tune-in to the season premiere.
Shot on a green screen soundstage, all new video footage was shot in one day with editing commencing the day after and taking in total 4 weeks to pull together. At a total budget of $55k, the costs of this interactive piece, which combines existing and original footage, was kept to a minimum. While the challenge of shooting 5 characters in various situations and monologues in a short amount of time would be deemed problematic, the early involvement of show producers, show runners and the actors, allowed these efforts to be captured in a shooting window of only 2 hours!
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