Swedes go gaga over the Eurovision Song Contest, and every year the country hosts a talent show to determine the lucky egg who will represent their nation in the sensational finale.
It’s called Melodifestivalen – think X Factor on steroids – and if a nation’s sweetheart could be a song contest, this would be it. More Swedes watch the show than the Eurovision finals and only the general election attracts more voters.
For reasons unknown, the sequins lost their shine and viewer numbers started to dip in 2009. The people of Sweden also questioned whether the show was filmed live and engagement slowed down. Then Perfect Fools was commissioned to breathe life back into Melodifestivalen and ensure it once again took centre stage in the nation’s viewing.
Perfect Fools created an app that viewers at home could vote for their favourite acts in real time by tapping an on-screen heart graphic during the performance. A single vote consisted of ten taps and each act could be voted for five times.
To reinstall viewers faith that the show was live the colours and pace of the beating heart mirrored the lights and music on stage. When a wave of pink, green or rainbow colour flashed across TV screens and the tempo increased, the same happened on their mobile device, demolishing doubts of a pre-recorded production.
Perfect Fools was given one defining KPI – change the perception of the show and make the nation fall in love with it again. To measure this is very challenging but Perfect Fools saw that changing the physical behaviour of a passive audience to become a physically active one was a measurement not to be reconciled with.
They succeeded in style. Through the app, home viewers participated in the results. They could vote up to five times for one act and one vote consisted of ten heart taps. That’s 50 taps of the beating heart to make sure their favourite was a contender.
Out of the 4.5 million viewers in a nation of nine million, one million downloaded the app.
The overwhelming support caused the app to crash mid-finale. As the TV presenters broke the news, Perfect Fools prepared for a torrent of trolling from users and an angry client. But rather than being furious, Melodifestivalen re-commissioned Perfect Fools the following year. A second time around, the technology was scaled up and a more robust platform put in place.
2016 attracted higher number than previous years. Engagement rates were smashed with an increase of 1021% thanks to the app, and a total of 36.7 million hearts were delivered during the show’s run.
The act of voting was taken over by the act of ‘hearting’, changing the way viewers of Melodifestivalen behaved while they watched. Connection was the defining emotion born through the app. As the smartphone screen connected to the broadcast, so a sense of physical connection was ignited at home and the experience became an extension of the TV show.
Watch this space as Perfect Fools has been recommissioned for another year and will introduce some exciting new features.