BBC Television is using Snapchat for the first time with the launch of new reality show South Side Story on BBC Three.
Airing this week, South Side Story is a brand new structured reality show focusing on the lives of a group of 18-25 year olds based in South London. They’re all striving to make a name for themselves in the entertainment world, so viewers will see drama, big egos and musical outbursts of the UK’s best-loved commercial tracks throughout the series.
The broadcaster’s debut Snapchat venture will give viewers exclusive behind the scenes access, keep them engaged with the programme in between episodes with teaser content and send calls to action before the show airs each week.
Social media agency Social Life is running the digital campaign around the launch of South Side Story, leading strategy and production for all social media. Alongside creating Snapchat content, Social Life will generate all assets for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, authoring all accounts during broadcast and throughout the series.
BBC Three is releasing a series of exclusive video messages via Snapchat, introducing the new South Side Story characters showcasing their skills. Viewers will be encouraged to add the new BBC Three account on Snapchat.
“With Snapchat’s young audience ever-increasing, it was clear that this was going to be our next venture in expanding BBC Three’s social portfolio. Snapchat is unique in its ability to bring its users closer to content in a more engaging, authentic way,” said Sarah Maycock, Social Media Manager at BBC Three. “The platform is perfect for our target demographic of 16 to 34 year olds. The way that Snapchat works will really complement South Side Story – capturing the energy and talent of its young stars in behind the scenes real-life moments. The hope is that viewers’ daily relationship with the characters via social media will mean they are more likely to tune in the following week.”
Maycock continued: “BBC Three is trialling reaching an audience via a new platform in an innovative way. We may roll Snapchat out across other programmes, depending on viewer reaction.”
South Side Story will air on TV for six episodes, followed by a number of webisodes available on iPlayer.
“There are over 30 million Snapchat users and around 16.5 million are active daily – it’s a powerful platform to share exclusive, interesting content and facilitates a personal and interactive relationship between broadcasters and their audience,” said Laura-May Coope, co-founder of Social Life. “Many broadcasters aren’t recognising Snapchat’s full potential, so BBC Three is taking a step up with an original campaign that will complement the style and humour of South Side Story. It’ll offer viewers an additional layer of narrative to play with and react to.”
Agency co-founders Laura-May Coope and Alistair Parrington also launched Snapchat for BBC Radio 1 in early 2014, while working in their previous positions as digital producers at Radio 1 and 1Xtra.
Indie Knickerbockerglory is the production company behind South Side Story.