Sky turns Vines into games to promote hospital drama 'Critical'


Sky 1 is using Vine to create micro games, designed to engage viewers of new hospital drama Critical.

It's the first time a broadcaster in the UK has used Vine to gamify show content in this way.

Social media agency Social Life has launched the platform for Sky 1 with a collection of games highlighting characters from the show. They invite the audience to connect with Critical in a playful way, while reflecting the programme’s themes of precision and attention to detail, which are at the core of surgery scenes each week.

Players are encouraged to join the conversation by posting screengrabs of their successes. There are currently two live games on Sky 1’s Twitter and Vine channels:

“Engagement of fans has been high – it’s a neat way of tapping into people’s enjoyment of the show and a fun, addictive draw for those who’ve not yet seen Critical,” said Tae Mawson, Senior Digital Producer for Digital Entertainment and Marketing at Sky. “Social media is always a trickier proposition with drama because viewers want to watch events unfold, but it’s still integral and a means of taking watercooler moments to the audience.

Social Life was appointed to run social media activity for the series mid-season.

“Micro-video content from a medical drama like Critical is great for teasing upcoming episodes and key storylines,” said Laura-May Coope, co-founder at Social Life. “We see Vine as a creative platform that can kick-start conversation in accessible ways. Launching a series of shareable Vine games is a lighthearted way to add an additional layer of narrative to the show’s social tone.”

Mawson added: “It’s always edifying when an audience reacts to scenes in the drama the directors want them to respond to. Social media is an immediate barometer to your intentions as a programme maker.”

Sky previously appointed Social Life to run all social media activity for Sky Atlantic’s new show Fortitude.

Social Life is run by co-founders Laura-May Coope and Alistair Parrington, ex BBC social media and digital producers.

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