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BBC / For Your Eyes Only

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective campaigns and marketing ideas

Media company tests TV content that adapts according to each user’s personal tastes

Firstly, users have to answer personality questions in a dedicated app. Questions range from music taste preferences to answering how creative, outgoing or hardworking people are. The app then analyses the data and creates a profile for the viewer, which is then used to shape the narrative of the content.

The Visual Perceptive Media platform can then alter different aspects of the resulting film based on the profile of each user. For example, the action may change, the plot may favour one character over another and some scenes might be missing entirely. Data that reflects people’s general outlook dictates the appearance of the film and can also alter the colour grading and the soundtrack.

Right now, this data is only generated through the mobile app. But the BBC reports that, in the future, this information could be collected by any number of services and could respond to a user’s mood in real-time. The result would be a film tailored to individual preferences that takes into consideration factors like the viewer’s location, the time of day and their mood.


Contagious Insight / 

The evolution of storytelling / The BBC R&D team claim that this approach to storytelling doesn’t remove the creative process of film making. Rather, it allows production teams to explore new ways of creating content for diverse audiences.

Previously, Contagious reported on Clear Channel’s artificial intelligence poster, which displays different outdoor ads based on people’s emotional reactions. Netflix have also been championing such tactics. To advertise their hit original series House of Cards, the on-demand service created ten different trailers, showing users only the one tailored to their viewing habits. In Brazil, deodorant brand Axe used programmatic to create 100,000 personalised versions of its ad Romeo Reboot. The short films were targeted to different audience segments based on factors such as musical tastes and previous brand purchases.

What’s particularly interesting about the BBC’s project is that it’s not just the ad or trailer that’s personalised, it’s the entire content of the film. And, just like Axe or Clear Channel’s ads, this gives brands freedom to engage with people in a more precise and personalised way. It moves away from a one-size-fits-all approach to content.

Perceptive media / In 2013, the BBC also experimented with Perceptive Radio by creating a show that employs proximity, light and sound sensors to work out the listener’s location and tweak the broadcast accordingly. This means that people’s experiences of a radio show changes according to their environment.

In issue 36 of Contagious magazine Ian Forrester, senior ‘firestarter’ producer at BBC R&D and the man behind both Perceptive Radio and Visual Perceptive Media projects, hinted that TV is also ripe for innovation. ‘The example I always give is Wonders of the Universe [a four-part 2011 TV series by the BBC, Discovery Channel and Science Channel, hosted by Professor Brian Cox]. If it were more perceptive, you could lean back to get a full cinematic effect while watching, or lean forward to get more facts and more detail on the screen.’

While it’s still early days for Perceptive Media, the potential advancements in the future have clear and present relevance for brands looking to evolve the way they create content in the future.

BBC Visual Perceptive Media



This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact