Jun 8, 2012
Before it happened on X-Factor, the Voice, or American Idol, a Canadian show called Cover Me Canada became the first prime-time reality show in the world to use "social voting" to determine the outcome.
The show, which aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from September to November 2011, tracked the social media activity of the audience and bands on multiple platforms.
Bands with the highest fan activity were safe from elimination. Those that weren't faced the judges.
The music elimination format incorporated a degree of cross platform engagement that surpassed anything that had been tried before.
Cover Me Canada was the first show to incorporate social activity from multiple social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms like CBC Radio 3, to directly influence the outcome of the show.
Contestants stayed in the series by virtue of their real online popularity - not as a results of voting.
We took this approach because it reflects how the music industry works today.
The impact was unprecedented engagement.
Cover Me Canada became much more than a TV show.
Fans interacted with the bands day and night, they rallied their communities and friends, they flooded social networks.
It was an excellent example of how to use Social TV to extend the television experience online and then into the real world, to deepen engagement, and to drive viewer loyalty.
For more information on the show, the social TV integration, how that worked, and the impact please review this interactive pdf document (note the document is quite large, it contains videos).