Upon being introduced to CW's lineup, The Vampire Diaries became an instant hit and was picked up for a 2nd season. With ISBX's experience handling CW's first mobile App for the TV series "Chuck," CW, based in Burbank, CA, approached ISBX with the goal of creating a highly interactive and immersive application to engage its viewership during the season as well as off-season. The client wanted an application that would evolve with the series and have meaningful interactive content that would encourage social promotion and further immersion into the television franchise. Since most of the studio's budget had been appropriated toward other channels, ISBX was challenged to create a successful product on a shoestring budget.
ISBX understood that for a mobile application to be successful in the teen and young adult age bracket, it would have to contain a feature strong enough to not only encourage social interaction, but also keep its user engaged enough for multiple visits over the duration of several months. In order to accomplish this, ISBX proposed for weekly updates to the app, tied in with each new episode. The highlight of this was an episode teaser video, which would allow users to preview the next week's episode in between airings. In addition to this, we proposed for weekly quizzes that asked questions relevant to the previous episode. Completion of each quiz awarded the user with a character badge that they could view in the App or share via Facebook and Twitter.
Perhaps the most novel feature of the App was the "Vampirizr," a feature that allowed users to take existing photos of themselves and overlay various assets from the TV show, such as vampire eyes and teeth, photo filters and backgrounds, and other image assets. Users could also post their Vampirizr photos on Facebook and Twitter, which would link to the App Store homepage.
In subsequent seasons, in order to further enhance the application and refresh its content, the Client proposed for a design change with new imagery and assets, while ISBX proposed for the development of a Video FX feature that would allow users to record a video of themselves and overlay an animated vampire effect complete with sound effects. This feature utilized ISBX's facial recognition technology (implemented using Open CV) to track facial movements during a recorded video. ISBX could then overlay the animated vampire effect over these facial coordinates to simulate an immediate transformation from human to vampire in a video. The featured proved incredibly popular, with the largest number of users accessing this section of the App and spending the most amount of time within the feature.
The application was an incredibly successful promotional tool for the show and proved to be highly popular. The App had a lifespan of three years under ISBX's support and drew in over 16.5 million page views from over half a million users. The average user spent up to 25 minutes within the application, with the Vampirizr section as the biggest draw. The success of the show and the iPhone App spawned a half dozen imitations and coverage by multiple online media outlets.