Digital Transformation

An interview with Bravo EVP of Digital Lisa Hsia on their interactive Emmy win

By Natan Edelsburg | SVP

September 30, 2015 | 5 min read

The 67th Annual Emmy Awards, which recently took place saw more streaming services get nominated for their television than ever before. The awards however have only one category that honors excellence in the digital storytelling around a show that's now become a huge part of the success of almost any show. This year NBCUniversal Cable Group's Bravo took home the Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for The Singles Project, which "followed six New York City singles on their quest to find romance."

The Singles Project

The Singles Project

Having only one digital-related category makes it even more impressive that Bravo took home the win. Found Remote interviewed Executive Vice President of Digital for Bravo and Oxygen Media, Lisa Hsia about the win.

Found Remote: What are the details of the campaign?

Lisa Hsia: “The Singles Project,” which followed six single New Yorkers in their search for love, provided Bravo with an exciting opportunity to bring an unprecedented level of interactivity to our docu-series slate. “The Singles Project” was shot and produced in real time, with episodes being aired in a matter of days, not months. This approach, paired with direct digital and social connections between cast and audience, allowed viewers to have an impact that was seen in every single episode.

This interaction as well as original digital-only content created a steady, 24/7 storytelling experience across multiple platforms, including, our cast’s social accounts, and Bravo’s on-air channel. Fans could offer advice on an upcoming date, then check out pictures from that rendezvous on social media as it happened, and finally watch the full date on-air afterward while sharing their reactions on Twitter and Facebook. This storytelling ecosystem allowed fans to feel more like friends and confidants of the cast members as they navigated the tricky New York dating scene.

FR: What were the successes?

LH: With “The Singles Project,” we’re particularly proud of how we transformed everything about how we do business – staffing, production schedules, casting… everything – to create a truly unique connection between audience and cast, making our viewers a part of the story. The complexity of that work and the user-facing simplicity with which we presented it engaged Bravo fans on a whole new level, allowing us to raise the bar.

FR: What partners did you work with?

LH:Bravo shares this win with All3Media, Goodbye Pictures and Lime Pictures.

FR: Why did you submit to the Emmys?

LH: The Emmys are one of the highest recognitions in our industry, and we were honored to win in the multiplatform storytelling category in 2013 for “Last Chance Kitchen,” the companion digital video series to the Emmy Award-winning program “Top Chef.” Given the originality of “The Singles Project,” we believed the experience had the merit to be considered for this year’s awards. Our team worked hard to make this campaign a reality, and we are thrilled to have been recognized for it!

LR: Why do you think it won?

LH: We know that to innovate in today’s digital landscape, it’s not enough to be a linear program with a digital extension anymore. Social and digital media have the remarkable ability to turn traditional TV shows into interactive platforms and to turn viewers into collaborators – we think that by embracing that new reality with “The Singles Project” and creating a production from the ground up that facilitated that collaboration and served all platforms equally, we were able to shine alongside the other programs honored by the Academy this year. And while so many of those innovators are creating great content in the genres of talk or scripted television, we also think that our ability to bring this level of interactivity to docu-series storytelling for the first time helped us to stand out.\

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