Embarrassing Bodies: Multiplatfrom Medical Taboos (SXSW 2014)


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Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies is the most provocative medical series on British TV. With its revolutionary approach to multiplatform, the brand spans websites, apps, games, health tools, citizen science, live Skype consultations and more. Join Maverick Television’s digital producer Nick Lockey as he explores the evolution of this Emmy and BAFTA award winning project and explains how the lessons they learned can be applied to the healthcare sector and to transmedia projects alike. (Presented at SXSW 2014).

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  • Apple Daily http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SWw_qM6_8I
  • Embarrassing Bodies: Multiplatfrom Medical Taboos (SXSW 2014)

    1. 1. Embarrassing Bodies: Multiplatform Medical Taboos #EBTaboo Nick Lockey – Development Producer, Maverick Television
    2. 2. Maverick Television: An award-winning TV and multiplatform production company working with broadcasters and clients in the UK and beyond.
    3. 3. With our TV production crews and in-house digital teams working in tandem, we create shows that are inherently multiplatform at their core. © Robert S. Donovan
    4. 4. ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ is our revolutionary interactive health brand. This talk looks at its evolution and explores how EB has pushed the boundaries of multiplatform TV production.
    5. 5. The British TV landscape very different to the US. Instead of big networks and local affiliates, five main national broadcasters dominate the viewing audience. © Brett Jordan
    6. 6. Channel 4, the home of Embarrassing Bodies, is one of the big five. As a public service broadcaster with a reputation for risk taking, trouble making and innovation, it was the perfect place to grow the brand. © Ahisgett
    7. 7. The UK health landscape is also hugely different too. The National Health Service (NHS) is paid for through central taxation and is free at the point of use for all UK citizens. Adapted from Image © Pickersgill Reef
    8. 8. The Evolution of Embarrassing Bodies
    9. 9. Embarrassing Bodies sees us follow the stories of people suffering from ‘socially awkward’ illnesses that they’re too embarrassed to see their own doctors about. Embarrassing Bodies
    10. 10. The main narrative of the show sees our three onscreen doctors meet a number of patients for an initial consultation, with several cases followed in each episode.
    11. 11. We then follow each patient through their recommended procedure, looking in-depth at what’s involved…
    12. 12. …and finally we film a follow-up consultation a few months later to see how they’ve progressed.
    13. 13. EB has not only become one of the highest rating factual shows on Channel 4, it has also become famous for its unflinching, no nonsense approach to exploring taboo medical subjects .
    14. 14. In the show we feature full nudity and graphic footage of extreme medical conditions, never pixelating or censoring. What’s more this goes out at 8pm on one of the UK’s most popular channels!
    15. 15. Eric after his treatment
    16. 16. Even cult Taiwanese 3D news channel Apple Daily had their take on Eric’s story!
    17. 17. Embarrassing Bodies has been pushing the boundaries of multiplatform content for over seven years. At first we had to convince our TV commissioners to take it seriously. Now it is a vital and integral part of the show.
    18. 18. As well as our TV formats, the EB brand now encompasses websites, apps, games, crowdsourced projects, live on-air video consultations, interactive health tools and more.
    19. 19. We were the first show to take the ‘second screen’ seriously, pioneering on-screen ‘pushes’ to our multiplatform content during TV broadcasts. Our sites and apps are designed to stand up to the huge spikes in traffic that these calls to action create.
    20. 20. In 2010 we pioneered a new interactive format in the form of ‘EB: Live’, a web switchover show that saw viewers submitting online questions and photos to our TV doctors for discussion in a live online video broadcast. EB: Live
    21. 21. Live From The Clinic The success of this web experiment led to ‘Live From the Clinic’, our live, multiplatform medical show. Broadcast from our purpose-built studio in Europe’s largest acute hospital, the show features unprecedented levels of viewer interactivity.
    22. 22. Live Interactivity During Broadcast
    23. 23. The backbone of Live From The Clinic is formed by our live video consultations. Here viewers Skype in live to the show for on-air diagnoses with our doctors and experts.
    24. 24. Cases are a mix of pre-cast patients and viewers who apply during the live broadcast itself, processed by our research team.
    25. 25. Each week we feature a guest expert who gives their opinion on the patients who Skype in to the broadcast. They not only appear on-camera but also lead online web chats after the show. Guest Experts
    26. 26. Dedicated EB Facebook and Twitter channels generate contextual links and relevant content during each broadcast whilst also engaging viewers in conversation. Social Media Channels
    27. 27. Official hashtags help to collate, curate and steer conversations around the show. The most interesting and insightful comments are often referenced during the broadcast. Curating Online Conversations
    28. 28. The data generated from registered app users is fed back into the TV show in the form of scripted content and on-screen infographics.
    29. 29. Meanwhile the EB YouTube channel hosts hundreds of clips from the show. These help to drive traffic back to the main website. YouTube
    30. 30. Web Resources
    31. 31. EB and LFTC Websites The ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ and ‘Live from the Clinic’ websites provide a wealth of medical advice, interactive tools and video clips. These let viewers ‘drill down’ into detailed content related to the health issues that matter to them.
    32. 32. Online Condition Guides The EB site has extensive online guides for a huge range of medical conditions, as well as summaries for all of the case studies featured in the show.
    33. 33. All of our condition guides feature a section called ‘What the Men in White Coats Say’. This pulls in syndicated content directly from the NHS Choices website using NHS APIs. Syndicated NHS Content
    34. 34. As well as featuring clips from the show, we also created dedicated web videos. The ‘down the lens’ aesthetic of these proved to be so effective that it went on to influence the look of the TV show. Web Video
    35. 35. Interactive Case Studies Skype consultations from the show were re-purposed as interactive case study videos online. Here contextual links are generated as the user watches, allowing them to bookmark relevant medical advice and related EB resources.
    36. 36. NHS Direct phone line scripts were adapted to create the UK’s first interactive video consultation tool. Over 2000 videos were used to provide advice and support for a wide range of medical conditions. My Video Doctor
    37. 37. On the LFTC site we used official NHS APIs to power a savings calculator that figured out just how much our ‘My Video Doctor’ app has saved the National Health Service. NHS Savings Calculator
    38. 38. Viewers are invited to upload images to a series of themed medical galleries which help to demonstrate the range of normal and abnormal variations in the nation’s bodies. User-Generated Photo Galleries
    39. 39. Analysis and Iteration Employing a user-driven approach, we monitor the comments from our viewers as well as the data from our sites and apps to spot patterns of interest or areas of need. These then help shape future TV episodes and multiplatform developments.
    40. 40. Apps
    41. 41. Available both on the LFTC website and as an iPhone app, ‘My Healthchecker’ is a suite of interactive health tools which help users assess themselves across a range of health conditions. My Healthchecker
    42. 42. Registered users can anonymously compare their results to other viewers across a range of criteria including age, gender, ethnicity and location.
    43. 43. The ‘My Selfchecker’ iPhone app leads the viewer through a series medical of self check videos and image galleries before recommending resources for further action. The mobile-first nature of the app provides both accuracy and privacy. My Selfchecker
    44. 44. Our online STI risk check tool helps users determine their risk of sexual infections and then recommends resources for further support. It was built to be mobile accessible and designed with privacy in mind. My Riskchecker
    45. 45. The ‘My Molechecker’ iPhone app helps users to catalogue and track potentially problematic moles on their body, providing effective tools for monitoring changes in size, colour and appearance over time. My Molechecker
    46. 46. Achievements and Statistics
    47. 47. Embarrassing Bodies by the numbers…
    48. 48. Embarrassing Bodies by the numbers…
    49. 49. Not only has the brand become a critical success for its pioneering multiplatform approach… “I might faint. But I can’t tear myself away.” Daily Mail “Such is the nature of this extraordinary show that you never know what might pop up, pre-watershed, live on a Wednesday evening…” Heat ©NS Newsflash
    50. 50. …but we also receive constant anecdotal evidence about its impact on people’s lives.
    51. 51. This was nowhere more evident than in 8-year old Charlotte Wilson’s story, a extraordinary case which took us full circle back to our documentary roots.
    52. 52. There’s no shame, we’re all the same! And finally, just remember…
    53. 53. Any Questions? Nick Lockey Development Producer Maverick Television @nicklockey
    54. 54. Thank You! #EBTaboo Nick Lockey Development Producer, Multiplatform Maverick Television www.mavericktv.co.uk www.channel4.com/bodies n.lockey@mavericktv.co.uk @nicklockey LFTC Showreel: http://is.gd/EBSXSW Photo and Video Credits: Pickersgill Reef Dawood & Tanner Apple Daily Brett Jordan NS Newsflash Ahisgett Robert S. Donovan