TVO (charitable organization responsible for GreenHeroes delivery), Conservation Ontario, Organics Council of Ontario, Green Living Enterprise, CAPE (Cdn Association of Physicians for the Environment), bitHeads/Bedlam Games, and Thing Tank (University of Toronto).
TVO has been an enthusiastic contributor to GreenHeroes. From the onset, they understood the campaign was designed for the new social networks as well as the traditional medium of television. TVO supports our vision to build dynamic connections to real world events through effective marketing strategies and partnerships.
Our other non-profit partnerships are similarly committed to increasing the impact of the GreenHeroes campaign and are supplying in-kind media, PR and consultation support and access to their communities, events and social media channels.
Climate Spark Venture Challenge has also introduced us to a number of developers and innovators who have services and tools we can use in our social media game and other on-line activities. We look forward to discussing ways we can work together with this community as well and have revised our proposal to reflect some of their feedback already.
The GreenHeroes Take Action Campaign is designed to help transform audiences from mere viewers to involved do-ers by connecting them to people who heroically ventured forth and acted on an idea to help protect the planet. These out-of-the-box thinkers have created movements inside the mainstream that have led to emission reductions and more.
At the heart of the GreenHeroes Campaign are well-produced stories told by great storytellers. These stories are delivered as short portable, webisodes distributed on multiple distribution channels and as a series of TV episodes. New to this phase is a call to action social media game that uses the outreach power of our broadcaster and partner networks and our own GreenHeroes fan base to promote and reward activities that reduce energy consumption.
The GreenHeroes Campaign also encourages the audience to become the story by nominating people they know through a contest and connecting them to organizations who can use their energy and interest via our take action campaigns, a daily blog and next, a GreenHeroes game.
GreenHeroes launched last year as a series of 24 x 3 minute webisodes, a series of 6 x 30 minute TV episodes on TVO, and an integrated multi-platform campaign. We successfully ran our inaugural Nominate a GreenHero contest and announced the winners at the GreenLiving show, Canada’s largest consumer event focused on the environment. This combined broadcast, on-line, and street-level promotion resulted in over 600,000 page views and above average dwell times of between 4-6 minutes on our GreenHeroes website.
TVO has committed to license an additional 21 webisodes and seven half hour TV shows and supply funds towards gamifying our existing site and developing the social media game. With this broadcast support, we successfully applied for development funding from the Bell Fund and are now working with bitHeads/Bedlam to develop ways to gamify our web presence and to create a province-wide call to action challenge. This challenge could be delivered as a pilot social media game to garner citizen involvement in Toronto that could then be scaled locally, nationally or worldwide.
We have also secured relationships with several green-minded organizations and media partners for outreach, consultation and focus group testing. These groups include Conservation Ontario, Organics Council of Ontario, the Canadian Physicians for the Environment. GreenLiving Enterprises, Our GreenHome and the on-line radio channel Mediazoic. These partnerships keep us informed and give us access to key events and stakeholders within their communities.
If successful we will use the ClimateSpark Venture Challenge funds toward creating our Social Media game and enhancing our website to recognize players for actions they take to reduce carbon emissions in collaboration with our partners and the ClimateSpark community.
Currently GreenHeroes reduces carbon emissions by creating inspiring stories, available as on-line webisodes and TV shows, and by creating related take action campaigns for each GreenHero, both online and in the real world.
As an example, Boston Bruins defenceman and GreenHero, Andrew Ference convinced the NHL Players Association to sign onto carbon offsets. This commitment resulted in spin-off green activity at hockey arenas as concession stand owners sought out recyclable containers and arenas switched to CFL lightbulbs.
As part of our community engagement strategy, our social media team brought the webisode to an audience who would not have seen this webisode elsewhere. They connected with the Boston Bruins and had the video posted to team's official blog. Within 30 minutes, the webisode was viewed 1,000 times. The team also researched 14 organizations and activities to link from Andrew's take action campaign page so viewers could immediately get involved in reducing their carbon emissions.
This is one example of GreenHeroes in action. We have 23 heroes and related campaigns completed. In Phase 2 we plan to do 21 more as well as gamify our website and create a call to action challenge using a social media platform like Facebook.
We are now working with game developers and with our partners to develop tools and activities around a quantifiable and achievable reduction in emissions. This crowd-sourced challenge will be promoted by TVO and our partners to reward activities that reduce energy use.
To illustrate how this energy reduction “call to action” could work, we will use the example of Vev, a forty-year old mechanical engineer living in downtown Toronto. He is watching TVO and sees a promotional spot for GreenHeroes challenging viewers to submit ideas to reduce energy consumption by applying “out of the box” thinking to an everyday activity. Vev is on the board of his downtown condo and has hooked his television set into an antennae on top of the building to save energy. He has just convinced his fellow board members that the entire building could have the same cost savings by tapping into this simple technology. Pumped by his recent success, he now wants to encourage others to do the same. He goes online and inputs his energy saving idea, concentrating on urban areas with condo dwellers. His “call to action” is to get others to convince their boards to adopt the same policy and to measure their energy and cost savings.
In order to reward Vev and other players like him, we will gamify our existing site through partnerships with software developers (who create ways to measure the effect) and with suppliers of sustainable products and services (who provide incentives.) The resulting GreenHeroes "metagame" will include the following features:
Challenges - Challenges form the core of directed player activity. Here, players form groups and track reductions in their historical energy use over a period of time. Savings are aggregated for the entire group encouraging players to form teams that can effectively spread the message of conservation.
Point System - Players earn points for activities on the website ranging from simple actions (viewing a webisode or commenting on a blog) to more complex and rewarding social interactions and activity required to complete energy saving challenges.
Player Reward/Badge System - Rewards focus on public recognition of status (through badges, communication, etc.) and access to exclusive content (e.g. behind the scenes tours, access to GreenHeroes, participation in events, etc.) Certain rewards will be made available as a function of earning GreenHero Points (GHP) and “leveling up” (e.g. when a player becomes a level 10 GreenHero by amassing 10,000 GHP they could be allowed to blog on the site, etc.) and others will be directly tied to a call to action (e.g. by winning the carbon reduction challenge, the group that won gets to create their own challenge, or is featured in a GreenHeroes webisode, etc.)
The GreenHeroes team is a dynamic group of people whose combined experience span numerous networks including environmental groups like Greenpeace, TEA and Planet in Focus, broadcast entities CityTV, Discovery, TVO, CTV, CBC, Global, Corus, APTN, MTV and Vision, industry organizations Interactive Ontario and DOC Toronto, and academic institutions University of Toronto, OCAD, Centennial College, the Canadian Film Centre and the Banff New Media Institute.
CineFocus Canada-John Bessai and Joan Prowse, Producers
CineFocus Canada (http://cinefocus.com) is a content creation company with 20 years experience producing television documentaries, educational videos and interactive properties. CineFocus’ body of work includes over 50+ educational videos on the environment, community health and labour initiatives for government and non-profit groups and 25 hours of prime-time programming that has been pre-licensed to Canadian broadcasters and sold around the world.
CineFocus began during the 1988 federal election when John Bessai and Joan Prowse created a national discussion piece that brought Canadians’ attention to the problems with the proposed Canada-US Free Trade Agreement. They followed with documentaries that explored issues of national sovereignty and identity including an investigative documentary on the North American Free Trade Agreement and Women of Change, showing the result of NAFTA through the lives of women in Canada and Mexico. Always active in environmental storytelling, they co-wrote and produced magazine pieces for Discovery’s @discovery.ca and Animal Planet including Greenpeace: A Canadian Discovery and In Search of the Spirit Bear about Canada’s endangered rainforest habitat.
John and Joan are both alumni of the Interactive Project Lab at the Canadian Film Centre and the National Screen Institute's Global Marketing Program. In 2004 they turned their TV documentary Visions from the Wilderness: The Art of Paul Kane into an interactive DVD and museum exhibit that is on permanent display at the Royal Ontario Museum. In 2009 their music biography, Buffy Sainte-Marie: A Multimedia Life, was nominated for a JUNO award and in 2010 GreenHeroes was recognized with a Rockie award nomination at the Banff World Television Festival.
TVO - Christine McGlade, TVO Executive in Charge of Production
Christine McGlade has been working in the broadcast and digital media industry in one form or another for over 25 years. She combines strong experience in content creation with a technical background in computer graphics and web development, and holds a certification in Internet Business and Technology from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Media from OCAD University. In her role as Manager, Interactive and Digital Media at TVO, a position she has held since 2005, she is responsible for 2 large, database-driven websites: tvo.org and tvoparents.com.
BitHeads/Bedlam Games - Trevor Fencott, Creative Lead
Trevor Fencott brings 11 years of interactive industry experience to his role as President and COO of bitHeads (and Bedlam Games), a multi-platform game and technology company. Prior to bitHeads, he co-founded Groove Games, an international publisher of console and PC games. He has been credited on the creation and publication of more than 30 video game titles. He is also a consulting producer to the Lost Girl series on Showcase and a frequent speaker on integrated and transmedia implementation including at NXNE and the Toronto International Film Festival.
Trevor serves as a Director of Interactive Ontario and on both the Screen-Based and Interactive Advisory Committees of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. He holds an Honours degree from Queen's University and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario.
WebCultured - Bart Dabek, Technical Lead
Bart was recruited directly out of Sheridan College to pioneer online video with VFM Interactive where he helped to bring rich media to major travel website (Travelocity, Orbitz, TripAdvisor) and put online video on the map at JumpTV where he helped to deliver live video to millions of people worldwide.
In 2006, Bart presented his first publicly launched project called QuestionVille at DemoCamp. That same year he initiated a project called AboutMyPlanet.com which focused on the environment and spreading of green news. AboutMyPlanet is now part of AMP Blogs Network (launched 2008) which is a network of blogs and websites focusing on everything green, serving over 1.6 million page views annually. Bart’s next endeavor was co-founding KickMy.com and creating the matching tool for the volunteer social media site GetInvolved.ca.
Filemobile - Steve Hulford - Chief Creative Officer/Mediafactory, Software Provider
Steve has founded, developed and launched numerous Internet products and companies of which Filemobile is his third venture. As Filemobile’s Chief Creative Officer, Steve is responsible for product development and delivery, blending creative and technical solutions that drive media value. Previously, he was a co-owner of PoolExpert.com, which was purchased by Rogers Communications in 2008. Steve has served as the vice-president of sports products for TSN and RDS where he managed product development and P&L for these popular Canadian sports websites.
ThingTank (formally Designing Digital Media for the Internet of Things) - Matt Ratto, Idea Jams Director
Matt Ratto is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and director of ThingTank (http://www.thingtank.ca), a non-profit lab space and research project examining and designing the Internet of Things. His work builds upon the new possibilities offered by open source software and hardware, as well as the developing technologies of 3D printing and rapid prototyping.
The GreenHeroes campaign was launched in the fall of 2010, developed and produced with financial support from the Banff New Media Institute, the Canadian Film Centre, the Bell Fund, Canada Media Fund, CIFVF and Ontario broadcasters SUN TV and TVO. This spring, partnerships with provincially based media and environmental organizations were formed to bring additional in-kind and outreach support. TVO has renewed its license as the lead broadcater for GreenHeroes Phase 2 and distribtution deals were signed with Films Transit International and McNabb Connolly.
For the past three years CineFocus has received funding from the Ontario Media Development Corporation to attend international content markets outside of Canada. Here important connections with broadcasters, distributors and co-producer partners are being made for international sales and licensing.
GreenHeroes is already receiving industry and festival recognition too. It was showcased at the at Banff/NextMedia in June 2010 and at NATPE in Miami in January, 2011. GreenHeroes was nominated at the Banff World Television Festival in 2010 and featured at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival in 2010 and 2011.
Description of Target Market
We like to think of our fans as the “deep greens” and the larger “green attentives” - those who care about the planet and who are looking for new ways to engage in its protection. The GreenHeroes campaign is aimed at bridging the gap between these two audiences by reaching out to people who want to be Green but think they are too busy or the cause too overwhelming. To do this GreenHeroes delivers its content on multiple platforms and chooses everyday heroes, reflective of the mainstream, and celebrity ones with a wide fan base.
As a public broadcaster, TVO makes GreenHeroes accessible to virtually everyone in the province of Ontario and reaches, on average, 3.8 million homes each week. Women viewers 35+ comprise more than 1.3 million of these TVO viewers. This demographic is actively involved in their communities and in issues of concern, with 39% ecologically committed. (Print Measurement Bureau). GreenHeroes' Facebook demographic shows our fans span the age spectrum, with the highest concentration being women 25-45 years of age.
We have a real opportunity through our broadcaster TVO to get the word out on-line and through on-air promotion. Our partners are also spreading the word through their websites, email chains, newsletters, and by inviting GreenHeroes to participate in their live events. In addition, our GreenHeroes have a wide network of fans, associates and members. Our on-line engagement strategists work with their organizations to promote the webisodes and the bi-monthly take action campaigns. We also have an on-line radio channel on Mediazoic who are very active in promoting our site.
As a result, our audience base continues to grow weekly. For example, we now have almost 1,000 Facebook fans which equates to a reach of 150,000 people. Add to it the 165,000 people who watched the show during its initial 6 week run on TVO, and the over 600,000 views to our GreenHeroes site. Already, we have reached 1 million people.
Cross marketing within the music community is another great way increase audience. Each webisode features musicians like Buffy Sainte Marie and Chris Birkett who have thousands of fans. Promotion via their Facebook groups and websites also drives traffic to GreenHeroes. As a sub marketing activity this may be a tipping point for building a larger fan base for GreenHeroes alongside the musicians, symbiotically driving two brands through available social networking technologies.
The idea behind GreenHeroes is to inspire people with great stories designed for sharing with friends through the social networks. Phase 2 adds to the fun with a social media challenge and the gamification of our website to spread the message even further.
Our “Go to Market” approach will be used to sell GreenHeroes content and multi-platform strategy to domestic and international broadcasters, advertisers, and sponsors. Depending upon the GreenHeroes customer (e.g. broadcaster, sponsor, educational institution), various product packages are available using a 'hub" and "spoke" model. A ‘spoke’ is defined as the packaging of the content (which can include media, user profiles and a range of features) for distribution. The ‘hub’ is the central GreenHeroes campaign- www.greenheroes.tv managed by Filemobile's Media Factory software.
Current and potential revenue models include:
- Licensing of content for a set fee
- Revenue share of potential content licensing fees
- Sponsored spokes or channels of content
- Sponsored webisodes, full episodes
- Sponsored ‘sharalizer’ video widget
- Sponsored ‘curated content’ (e.g. speeches, performances, behind the scenes material)
- Event tie-in / interstitials opportunities (e.g. Earth Day or other specialized programming)
- UGC Contests
- Product Options
- Licensing "spokes" from the GreenHeroes Hub:
Green Heroes will roll out this new model and generate revenue through a range of traditional and non-traditional partnerships with broadcasters and as well as radio stations, newspapers and brands themselves. In the past, revenue was built into the marketing plans of brands and administered through their clients. The new model is different. The client is the consumer and the producer is the link. CineFocus has positioned itself to be at the centre of this new mix.
International Broadcasters - Already there are discussions around the adaptation of content to suit international markets. As mentioned, we have a distribution agreement with a leading international broadcaster, Films Transit International, and CineFocus Canada producers attended several key content markets. Producers Joan Prowse and John Bessai will work with Film Transit’s Jan Rofekamp to engage key buyers and make international licensing deals.
Educational Opportunities - Steve and Ann Connolly of McNabb and Connolly, two seasoned representatives in the non-theatrical realm, handle educational distribution for CineFocus Canada's products, including GreenHeroes. They both have experience in the distribution of interactive content and regularly attend all of the key educational markets. Currently they are prototyping an innovating class-room distribution model.
Advertising - Social networking represents a huge opportunity for brands to reach their target audience and increase impressions. New finance models are emerging with broadcasters giving producers minutes of broadcast time to sell themselves to help monetize their productions. For example, CineFocus can offer GreenHeroes' sponsors a branded "donut" around each webisode and the TV show too. This was already done with Bullfrog Power's Tom Heintzman introducing and concluding each GreenHeroes TV episode. Adding this feature to the webisodes has the potential to immediately generate $25-50K in addtitional sponsorship revenue. Webisodes can also generate revenue through a range of partnerships with radio stations, newspapers and the brands own on-line, "wait-screen" and "third-screen" channels.
Phase I (2009– 2011)
The construction of the GreenHeroes web channel, the fulfillment of the campaign, and the creation of 6 TV episodes and 24 webisodes are completed. Economies of scale have been created, a production team established, and costs per episode, webisode and campaign maintenance (social networking, blogging and ongoing campaign operations) identified. Revenue targets from inventory sales achieved as the content financing model based on inputs from Canadian TV infrastructure begins.
Phase II (2012 – 2013)
The Gamification of the Green Heroes Campaign, a call to action to continue to build the Green Heroes brand and a second season of TV episodes coupled with 21 new webisodes with sponsors and advertisers attached through a preliminary stage of inventory management and sales starting at revenue projections begins April, 2012 with the launch of the interstitials on TVO, international sales trips and meeting with sponsors.
Value per spot on TVO, with integration of the web channel and webisodes on a weekly basis begin at $1,500 dollars a day (3 x $500.00 spots on TVO with placement on GreenHeroes web channel.) Through a cycle of 7 day per week cycle, the potential gross is $10,000 a week or $40,000 a month (less operational expenses) making a monthly projection of $15-20,000 per month which can be invested into content creation and operations. Revenues begin to climb in October with the projection that by January 2013 the goal of $10,000 a week is achievable.
Phase III (2013 -2015)
The GreenHeroes Campaign success in Ontario will be modelled and replicated across several countries with royalties accrued over time based on license fees. These receipts would be minimal in this phase amounting to $100,000 at first. The positive position of the campaign by 2015 would be full integration with a community-based campaign connected to the marketing budgets of our sponsors and advertisers globally.
The Campaign itself will continue to resonate through conventional broadcasting and the approach to integrated marketing undertaken in Phase 1. The new webisodes and TV series will continue to be broadcast on TVO (and possibly other broadcasters) with stable revenues through direct mail, advertising and sponsorship.