SWR and ARTE launched a transmedia project titled “Zeit der Helden / La semaine de vérité” in March 2013. The project consists of nine real-time TV episodes and a dedicated webpage for users to engage even more with the story. The TV series is about the life of a family called Brunners and their neighbours and covers the issues of their lives. The series is part of a themed week revolving around the topic of “midlife crisis”.
“Zeit der Helden / La semaine de vérité” premiered online on March 13, 2013. The first TV episode will air on ARTE and SWR on March 25, 2013. Before the start of the TV series, users can visit the website to get to know the characters of the series. Additionally, user can browse a timetable with events to discover background stories. This timetable consists of videos and SMS text messages listed by time and date.
Besides, users can learn more about how to interact with the story on the website. Users are invoked to uncover the repressed memories of the series’ characters. In the TV series and the online videos, certain items will appear hinting at additional background stories which can be discovered on the website as soon as the series starts on TV. The game will be synced with the on-air broadcast.
The real time series will be aired twice a day from March 25-29. 45min long episodes will be broadcast at 20:15 and a 30min long episode at 22:00. Users watching the series will notice that the current time is matching the time in the series. So, when it is 20:22 in reality, it is 20:22 in the series as well.
In between and after the broadcast of the episodes, ARTE and SWR will broadcast corresponding documentaries, films and magazines. Users can also catch up on the occurrences in Brunners’ life in the meantime by visiting the website and looking at the timetable. All important events will be posted there.
To promote the transmedia project, selected Twitter users received messages including a link to a personalized video on YouTube. The personalized video included a photo of themselves (which was extracted by the user’s social network account) and a voice-over asked: “Do you crave for luck, protection, love and faith, success and attention? But what do you do if you loose it all and you’re hit by depression? …” At the end of the video a link was displayed, which led the user to the website.
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