At this point in its third season, “Ellen’s Game of Games” has become a hugely popular NBC game show that takes Ellen’s talk-show staple, the games, and expands it into a full-blown, epic primetime show where players face a variety of outrageous and eye-catching perils as they compete in high-stakes games.
With Ellen Digital Ventures, Ellen’s television brand extends into the digital world. Ellen-style fun can be enjoyed by our digital audience wherever they are – all through their mobile devices – so we capture the essence of what it is like to be a part of Ellen’s talk show and game show audience.
To create the “Game of Games” Play Along with Live experience, we needed to accomplish three things. Ellen’s Game of Games” had a first goal: to enhance the viewer’s experience. The goal was to take existing fans of the TV show and give them even more of what they love.
We realised that Ellen and “Game of Games” fans had a lot in common, so our second goal was to build a large user base and bring those players back to the show. The third goal was to give viewers a taste of what it’s like to be on “Ellen’s Game of Games,” allowing them to experience the drama, pressure, and excitement of being on the show.
WHY DOES THIS ENTRY DESERVE TO WIN?
With over 8 million weekly viewers for the first season’s “Ellen’s Game of Games,” the show’s app seemed like an obvious next step. Users can experience the thrill of competing against other players right from their mobile devices thanks to the app. Only one problem remained: connecting the app experience to the broadcast game show – and doing so instantly.
In conjunction with season two of “Ellen’s Game of Games,” the Play-Along Live experience was launched, which allowed viewers to participate in the show for a chance to win $5,000 through Augmented Reality. Based on “See Ya Later Alligator,” a popular episode of the game show, players were challenged each week to solve a rebus puzzle that included both symbols and words, such as this one:
Players had to use Augmented Reality to collect the missing emoji clues in the game’s in-app version. Five prize boxes or “scan targets” appeared in the lower right-hand corner of the TV screen during each one-hour episode. An emoji clue can be found by tapping on an AR prize box that appears to pop out of the TV screen and into a player’s real-world environment.
It took players less than a minute to solve the puzzle and submit their answers after scanning four prize boxes and gathering all the clues. The winner would take home $5,000.
Finally, during the final act of the show, players were encouraged to scan the fifth and final prize box, which revealed the contest winner’s name and home state to all participants in real-time.
When Ellen’s “Ellen’s Game of Games” premiered, she always began by urging her viewers to download the app so they could participate in the show at their leisure. 2.6 million apps have been downloaded, 1.1 million augmented reality activities have been performed, and nearly 200,000 rebus puzzles have been solved during Season 2. On days when the show aired, the game’s average Daily Active Users shot up by over 900 per cent, gaining over 450,000 new users during its second season.
Ellen’s strategy to grow her online community is evident in her social media following, which totals 288 million+ followers/visitors. The number of people who follow Ellen on Twitter alone has grown to over 79.5 million.
“Ellen’s Game of Games” aired live each week, and Ellen’s live tweets during the broadcast encouraged viewers to play along at home and prompted them to download the app. To increase the sweepstakes’ visibility and encourage other fans to use the app, Ellen shared the names of the winners of the $5,000 prize on her Twitter to her millions of followers.
At-home players were overwhelmingly positive in their responses. The opportunity to play for real money and win it from the comfort of one’s own home was lauded in the hundreds of reviews that were left. Additionally, the app was used to find real-world winners and bring them onto The Ellen Show as guests with heartwarming stories to tell, bringing augmented reality to a wider audience.