For 23 years, Kassa has been broadcaster VARA’s number one programme to tackle current consumer issues (think BBC’s Watchdog). Over time, Kassa has developed into a major authority in consumer information in the Netherlands. Some of the characteristic and recurring items on the show are the Belbus, the debate and the product test.
With over a million viewers every week Kassa is one of the most-watched programmes on Saturday nights. But with an average age of 58, Kassa’s viewers are an aging audience group. And so, the programme is failing to reach a substantial group of consumers. Our brief was: how do we get younger consumers – whose activities are mainly internet-based - involved in the programme, and how can we contribute to a rejuvenation of Kassa?
THE KASSA PANEL APP
When Kassa returned for a new TV season in 2012, we introduced the Kassa Panel. The Kassa Panel literally allows viewers to be at the controls of the TV show. With their tablets or laptops (Android/iPad app and (tablet)site), viewers can express their opinions on a range of consumer issues. For instance, viewers can share how believable they think a guest on the programme is. Or people can join in a product test from home.
We have made sure the results of the Kassa Panel are instantly fed live to the programme on television. Guests are confronted on air with the audience’s opinions, and the product test is also enriched with viewers’ opinions. The direct feedback we have thus facilitated makes the Kassa Panel an interesting feature for both participants and (passive) viewers.
The Kassa Panel is also used before and after the show airs. Every week, the editors will ask the panel a number of questions, allowing participants to contribute to programme items, choose a destination for the Belbus (which is a feature where a mobile Kassa team takes a minibus to investigate a consumer issue on location), or determine which products should be tested on Kassa. The results are used in the production of the programme.
LINKING TV AND ONLINE
The makers at Kassa have taken the second screen as an integral part of the show from the first pilot they made for the new format. This means the programme and the application are closely interconnected. The show’s producers are crucial to the success of the second screen application. They know their viewers best and know what will work on television - and what will not. By having the producers of the show work with us as digital thinkers we have been able to develop an app that fits in seamlessly with the show AND offers a great digital experience.
The application has been designed in such a way that viewers are intuitively guided from one question to the next and that it redirects live, without any delay, to the different sections in the show. The app also clearly shows viewers how much time they have left to vote. The design features real buttons, just like on an audio panel, such as sliders and buttons, which improves user-friendliness. In other words, the panel is a real panel.
So far, 200,000 people have participated in the Kassa Panel. And the numbers are growing every week. Since the launch of the Kassa Panel, Kassa has been a ‘trending topic’ on Twitter every week, and the results of the Panel are actively discussed on social media sites and influential news sites in the Netherlands.
In only a short period of time the Kassa Panel has become an integrated element of the programme. Starting from the first TV-pilot for the new season, the format has allowed the Kassa Panel to actively take part. The show’s content has been given a boost by incorporating viewers’ opinions, which has turned Kassa into a hallmark in consumer issues.
One thing that is very significant is how active our participants are: 60% of participants actively take part in the Kassa Panel for the full duration of the show (45 minutes). And since the panel’s introduction, the average age of Kassa viewers has gone down by one year. This may not seem like a very impressive decrease, but with over a million regular viewers it is significant, especially for a show produced by a national broadcaster. And with just one season behind us, we are not nearly finished. The producers of the show are so enthusiastic that the Kassa Panel will be able to continue until 2017 at least.
About the author:
Alain Dujardin is Creative Director and partner at Greenberry - the agency for digital relevance. Alain has over 10 years of experience working for several leading digital agencies in the Netherlands, including Lost Boys (LBi), Framfab and Agency.com (TBWA\). Early in 2011 Alain joined Greenberry – a digital agency which develops concepts and campaigns for brands like VARA Broadcasting, Teva, the Dutch postal service PostNL and Centraal Beheer Achmea.