CTV creates scripted digital content for Saving Hope

The announcement of online companion content for the new medical drama, which premieres June 7, comes just ahead of the CTV Upfront on Thursday.

Having commissioned, alongside NBC, the production of its new medical drama Saving Hope, CTV and its digital production unit were able to work with the writer’s room to create scripted elements that act as a digital extension of the new show, says Jon Taylor, senior director of content, Bell Media Digital.

Taylor explains that the companion content strives to create audience interaction during and following episodes of the show, which premieres June 7 at 9 p.m. The site will be promoted through ads, such as lower-third screen overlays, and during the end credit squeeze back, across Bell Media’s TV and online properties.

He adds that CTV has gone above and beyond for the Canadian-produced show, not only to continue the momentum of Thursday night viewing left by the recent season run of The Big Bang Theory, but also because of the nature of the show, which allowed the channel to experiment with the characters in promotions.

Components of the digital hub include an original web series entitled Ask Gavin, which has two of the show’s characters dishing out advice in response to letters that have been submitted by anonymous hospital staffers, as well as drawn-out 90-second sneak peek trailers with clips of the next week’s episode, a feature section with exclusive content, photo galleries and interactive gaming elements.

In response to viewers showing interest in the soundtracks that air during Grey’s Anatomy and Vampire Diaries, says Taylor, CTV decided to also create a music lounge where viewers can access songs from the show as well as interviews with featured artists. “We created a blog that does more than just list the tracks,” he says. “We could see that there was an appetite for this [type of content].”

The target for the Saving Hope digital extension skews female between the ages of 25 and 45, much the same as broadcast, he says. “However, CTV.ca skews a bit narrower than the broad reach of conventional TV, [it's] a little younger and a little more female,” he adds. “So we see that as an opportunity to zero in on this a bit more. So, [be] a bit cheekier [and] a bit more fun.”

As of now, the digital portal is without advertisers or sponsors, but Taylor is open to having brands come on board to do product placement in the web series, a sponsorship of a zone within the microsite, place pre-roll ad in the video clips or create a multi-platform campaign.

In addition to the hub, the channel has created a Twitter account for an unnamed character of the show. The scripted tweets will be posted during the show and give teasers of upcoming episodes. The idea is much like Gossip Girl, says Taylor, with the anonymous tweeter being named later on during the season.

From Media in Canada