E4 approached us at Littleloud to pitch an online experience for their upcoming new comedy Beaver Falls, with the dual purpose of both drumming up excitement for TV programme and fleshing out the characters of the show's three main protagonists - Barry, A-Rab and Flynn. These three Brits are being sent to a summer camp in the US, and the programme was to follow their various misadventures during their time there.
Our approach was to really immerse the site's visitors into our character's world. Their belongings and environments, just as they might be found in an American summer camp, could all be interacted with, and would form a non-linear, mostly explorative experience in which to derive most of the content. This would be studded with various mini-games, although the design of these was outside the scope of the pitch.
We did, however, include a points system that would track and rewards a visitor's interactions with the site, with the hope that visitors would spend more time interacting with the content. These point tallies were then plugged in to Facebook, where a leaderboard and ranking system would sort you and your friends into different American social groups.
We settled on the idea early on to recreate Barry's personal space, as his 'stoner' personality enabled us to more easily collect suitable paraphernalia assets with which to decorate his desk. Stock images of lighters, ashtrays, hemp badges and American "candy" like Hershey's and Reese's Pieces all formed the basis of the 'hub page'.
I came up with a bold and striking, but also fairly neutral UI, that could be overlaid across the entire site, and which wouldn't be fighting with any of the character spaces. Borrowing 'threading' techniques I utilised for Sweatshop, I also knocked up a number of badges for the Facebook hierarchy which would denote the various American cliques - an Amercian football for the 'Jocks', for instance.
I also mocked up an iPhone as part of the visuals which would be the vehicle to unlock some of the extra content we wanted to embed in the experience; for example, Barry's Twitter feed (revealing his personality) or video clips taken from the show itself. All in all, it was a strong pitch, but Littleloud weren't selected to commence the work on this occassion.