Where are the Joneses? is a "groundbreaking interactive on-line situation comedy", conceived and developed by Imagination and sponsored by Ford. Over to David Bausola, who worked on the project:
the project had to be built upon existing web(2.0) services so that we could take the project to an audience rather than drag people into the project. YouTube is being used for video delivery, Flickr for photos, WordPress for the blog (where the comedy is ‘played out’) and wikidot (where the audience can collaborate with each other, the actors and their production team). Dapper, Yahoo!Pipes, Facebook, various Google Apps, Twitter etc etc are also used to manage data flow and generate material for the actors to work from. If you like, it’s a
UGC authentic media comedy based upon RSS feeds generating free open media.
Such factors begins to blur the answer to ‘what is content?’ We invited Baby Cow to work with us on this because of their ability to produce the highest quality comedy and evolve characters. Their team is headed up by Henry Normal (Steve Coogan’s writer and business partner) and Ali MacPhail (Who was the exec producer on productions such as Nighty Night and The Mighty Boosh). They have helped significantly in demonstrating that media can be produced for both entertainment and marketing, outside the normal broadcasting channels and platforms.
By working with a classic TV production company to create marketing that is based upon the audiences input is the opportunity to give the audience the entertainment they ask for. We are encouraging the audience to take part in the project in any way they wish to. Write scripts, design characters, recommend locations across Europe and if you want to, you can be in the production as a character – you may wish to become a Jones yourself. You can also take the media and ideas and use them for you own benefit.
To be honest, it's too early to tell if this format's going to work (it is reminiscent of KateModern, but again, that's not live yet), but certainly a bold experiment, and very interesting that it's been done by Imagination and not a Glue or a BBH.
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