Clem, the TF1’s fiction returns to transmedia
by Olivier Godest, published on 15.03.2011
During our several conferences and courses, we had often spoken about the first episode of the Clem series aired on TF1 in 2010. Actually, it showcases the success of a French fictional series that had the courage to approach a mechanism we could qualify as « transmedia ».
After a first successful trial, three new episodes will start on March 21st. Caroline Maret, the Transmedia Content Development Executive at TF1’s French Fiction Direction, presents us the evolution of the series’ transmedia mechanism.
9,5 millions viewers and 2,5 millions cybernauts have already been conquered by Clem in 2010 and starting a few weeks ago, they can already discover what’s happening next to their favorite character, thanks’ to the new Clem blog, available on the official TF1.fr website. The audience could equally follow Clem on MyTF1, on the iPhone and iPad application as well as on Facebook, TF1 Vision and on their dedicated channel on WAT.tv. Finally, TF1 Publishing is proposing as well a short-novels book that should be published on March 23rd and TF1 Vidéo is launching a full Clem DVD pack on the April 6th.
Caroline, could you present the multi-screens mechanism you have designed for the next episodes?
We’ve just announced the airing of the second season of Clem (3x90min) starting from Monday 21 March at 20h45, but the story has already resumed since the 7th February on www.leblogdeclem.com and www.tf1.fr/clem.
For the second season, we developed Clem’s blog into a social media: Clem is inviting the other series’ characters (his high school friends and her little sister) to post their videos and comments to their everyday life (the new baby, choosing a godmother, the final exam, the holydays, the nights out, the new girlfriend of her baby’s father, and so on).
Each week is organized around a new plot and the cybernaut can interact by posting his comments, his “likes” or by answering weekly quizzes (“In your opinion, who would make the best godmother?” “Should we accept Lena on the blog?”, “After you, would Hicham be able to face Clem’s challenge?”).
In the same time, on TF1.fr weekly teasers illustrate the narrative plots happening on the blog just to help users create their own opinions (for instance “between Clem and Julien… there is Léna !” is the teaser that helped them choose if Lena should be accepted by Clem on the blog or not). We decided to host the blog on the TF1.fr website (and no longer on the overblog) in order to give it a better visibility and to grow the bouncing between the TV channel teasers and the web series.
The audience can equally follow Clem’s videos on all ours platforms (My TF1, TF1 IPhone and IPad applications, the dedicated channel on Wat.tv), they can exchange with us and the entire website fan community « fans de Clem » on Facebook and they have, as well, access on TF1 Vision at Clem’s 1st season.
Starting from the 21st March, the audience will be able to follow, during 3 weeks, the series on TV. Each broadcasting evening, the audience will be invited through a rebound (aired on the TV channel and redirecting viewers to the web), to discover an unseen sequence that’s extending the broadcasting experience. During the following week, the cybernaut can watch, free of charge, the entire episode as a rerun, and discover the next’s episode, just as well as other bonuses (deleted scenes, making of, interviews…). The user could easily access the other characters reactions on the aired plot and he can express his own comments on Clem’s blog and on Facebook.
The aired episodes will be equally available on download on TF1 Vision as well as 3 games (on Facebook, TF1.fr and Wat.tv) that will allow participants to win a Clem DVD pack and the books signed by Lucie Lucas.
As a “connected web series”, is the second episode brining some innovations in comparison with the first episode?
The innovation of the second episode is essentially a new writing, directing and production point of view, more than a technological innovation. Excepting the digital development necessary for transforming Clem’s blog into a social platform and to host it on the TF1.fr website, which was in fact a real progress from the last year’s form, we have co-written, co-directed and co-produced (with Merlin Production and L’autre Prod) a web series lasting 10 weeks (6 weeks before broadcasting + 3 of air-time + 1 week after broadcasting). Each week brings a new narrative arch, new daily videos through 8 different characters (Clem, Alizée, Gladys, Hicham, Salomé, Lena, Julien, and off course the user’s comments).
Which are the different types of audience you wish to reach by each media?
As you have already seen, Clem is a multimedia program (broadcasted on all our platforms) but the transmedia writing of this precise example, Clem 2, it concerns only the TV broadcasting, Clem’s blog, TF1.fr and Facebook.
Clem is destined to reach all type of audiences, while the main core of our target is the woman responsible for household purchasing; the transmedia mechanism is mainly directed at 15-24 years old women.
Regarding the fan’s community, have you managed to keep the contact with the same users? How did you handle the relationship with them during the hiatus?
After the first season’s finale, Clem’s blog and the fan page on Facebook (that brought an average of 2000 supplementary fans each month during the hiatus) were active. We kept the contact with a core of fans that continued searching information on the next events on Clem and exchange around it (by the way, we reached an audience peak in September and January because the cybernauts were checking if the season 2 is launched). We stayed in contact with this core of fans by posting news (information on the production) and some videos (Lucie Lucas’ video answer to cybernauts’ questions asked on TF1&Vous, the cast’s best-whishes video).
On the 7th February, we started the mechanism for the second season (announced in a press projection, accompanied by a press release regarding the transmedia mechanism, created on our platforms, and the activation of the social network).
To insure the natural flow of cybernauts from Clem’s blog to the new Clem’s social network on TF1.fr, we kept the name “blog de Clem” and we created an “URL automatic redirection” from www.leblogdeclem.com to the dedicated page on TF1.fr
The TF1 & Vous team (that manages the proximity operations) organized a B2C sneak-preview of the first episode of the second season in the TF1’s auditorium where we reserved some seats for our Facebook fans.
Was the community’s feedback integrated into the narrative development of the TV episode (for instance the fans’ choice of godmother)?
The success of the first season of Clem’s blog motivated us to integrate it in the second season’s broadcasting episodes (the blog is seen in most of the TV episodes, when Clem’s character is updating it). By contrast, the first season’s dispositive wasn’t conceived in order to give us the possibility to integrate the users’ reactions into the second season. Today, Clem’s social network allows a far better communication with the viewers, more oriented towards the content and thus giving us a far clearer image of what they’re expecting, hope, or love … on the program’s evolution. This has become a materiel that we keep on defining step by step and that we wish to explore in order to give the audience a global experience.
During the launching of the transmedia mechanism, the 7th February, Laurent Storch, TF1’s Program Director declared: “Clem is the emblem of a new generation of French fiction. This series is showcasing a contemporary young woman. It seemed logical to propose her adventures adaptable on every type of channel, in order to converge towards the event that will take place, soon, on the TF1 air-time. This mechanism allows the French fiction audience to widen, a fact that could only make us happy»
And Olivier Abecassis, General Director at e-TF1 added: “After Clem’s success, and the web declinations for “Un Mari de trop”, TF1 is emerging into the media synergy through stories adapted to each media. We wish to give life to the Clem brand, beyond TV broadcasting and to offer our audience a global experience that starts a few weeks before the airing and that keeps on going after the last episode is aired, on different Medias”
That’s good news for the French fiction, in general! After these two interesting first tests (Clem’s first season and Un Mari de trop), the fact that TF1 insists on developing transmedia programs is a proof that the French audiovisual market is evidently in an evolution process. By adopting this multi-screens mechanism starting from the writing phase, the creation becomes very promising and it will be, as I hope, an inspiration for our writers, producers and channels.