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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

American Idol Facebook Visualization

Finalist in Data Visualization

Entered in Facebook Campaign, Integration with Live Television


Objective of Campaign

"American Idol" has delivered numerous interactive industry innovations and this legacy continued with Season 13. Voting has always been a cornerstone of the series' interactivity with fans and we wanted to evolve that relationship and feature fans' passion for contestants in a dynamic way. In a social TV first, in partnership with Facebook, we utilized voters' Facebook information to show real-time voting results and to give voters their moment of TV fame as their Facebook Profile Pictures were broadcast live on-air in show. Using technology in this way enabled us to reward fans and drive engagement around the show.

Creative Solution

To enable live broadcast visualizations, voting changed to open at the top of the show and Telescope's technology platform provided a verifiable, high capacity solution. Telescope also developed software for real-time moderation of voters' Facebook Profile Pictures, a solution suited to the live TV environment. As contestants performed, the studio backdrop filled with fan images, creating unique real-time fan walls, plus Facebook tapped data such as age, gender and location highlighting voting trends.

The integration extended beyond TV activation. Facebook users broadcast on-air received sponsored News Feed posts featuring their personal Idol videos, driving huge social sharing amongst wider network.

Results of Campaign

The "wall" of Facebook Profile Pictures showing social support for contestants became fully integrated into the season.

American Idol Season 13 broke records with over 71 million votes cast in the first performance show! As the voting continued, Facebook became the most popular method for voting using the SuperVote mechanic, fuelled in part by the opportunity of seeing their picture on-air supporting their favorite Idol. For Season 13, we hit the milestone of our 6 billionth vote for American Idol across the series, thanks in part to this activation.

Strategy and Execution

For a show in its 13th season, the activation personalized the experience for viewers, with thousands of fans appearing live in the show across the season. The SuperVote Facebook Visualizations showed the fans that they clearly have an impact on the show and made it a truly social event. Amplifying the on-air activation across Facebook after it happened made this a true 360-degree interactive innovation that went from online to on-air and back online again.


Video for American Idol Facebook Visualization

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Fremantle, Fox, Telescope and Facebook