Behavior Stakes True Blood's Online Narrative Experience

Behavior Stakes True Blood's Online Narrative Experience

Behavior created the online interactive experience for HBO's new series True Blood, by acclaimed writer, director, and executive producer Alan Ball. The True Blood website is an innovative web environment whose focal point is rooted in the storytelling and character development of the series.

With several comparable projects under their belt Behavior was able to influence the traditional ways in which users access content and experience information from standard series websites by rethinking its contextual nature. Rather than using the site as a tool to explore fixed programming components, like episode synopsis', cast and crew interviews, Behavior created the site as a narrative extension of the cable series.

Behavior's intimate understanding of HBO's programming focus and emphasis on compelling narrative become the foundation for the online experience and site architecture, reflecting HBO's overall brand attributes as well as that of the series itself.

The site uses True Blood's week-by-week storyline as the primary means of navigation and incorporates the standard HBO programming information as it is relevant to each episode. Every week a new homepage is presented, reflecting the most current installment, which highlights the episode synopsis, featured characters, and related videos.

"We cross referenced the series content in various ways, first and foremost by it's relevance to the current moment in the series, while also supporting the customary ways of getting videos, cast and crew pages, and other popular information. The idea was to think of the site itself as a narrative thread, where each page leads you to another part of the website to encourage ongoing exploration," says Mimi Young, Principal at Behavior.

All good storytelling invariably means great characters; with that in mind Behavior uses the cast of True Blood as a key element within the site. The featured character pages are a one-stop destination encompassing character bios, actor bios, interviews, and related character photos. Behavior crafted a distinctive integrated feature where visitors, when selecting tagged characters, are exposed to a stream of consciousness collage of images and thoughts from the chosen character. This special feature mimics the telepathic imposition of True Blood's protagonist Sookie Stackhouse, and adds intrigue and insights into the series characters and their plotlines.

The website is ultimately a porthole for all things True Blood and includes links to a related message board, wiki, fan site, and a myriad of external sites created through HBO's extensive marketing campaign which includes TruBeverage.com, a synthetic blood beverage site also created by Behavior.

In anticipation of the show's success and fast growing fan-base, Behavior worked to architect a unique online world both wide and deep in breadth that elevates the HBO storytelling experience while nourishing the budding appetites of True Blood enthusiasts.

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