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Interactive Annual 14:

HBO Voyeur

Launch Live Site

“An excellent mix of technology and theme that’s completely engrossing with many slices and saccades.” —Jon McVey

“The slow pace of this site rewards the attentive viewer; it seemingly shouldn’t work in the fast-paced world of the Web-and yet, it succeeds brilliantly.” —Bart Marable

Overview: Part of an online and billboard campaign developed by ad agency BBDO to promote HBO programming, this alluring, video-driven site is proof that ordinary lives are, in fact, extraordinary. The nighttime view of eight well-lit apartments and four stairwells with choreographed films of the people living inside is dramatic, entertaining and intriguing. It’s an enticing urban panorama complete with a pair of binoculars drawn into focus that enables visitors to get uncomfortably close to the twelve voyeuristic tales without ever emerging from the shadows. Exactly what the cable network stands for—in an entirely original format.

  • Some characters from the building had MySpace pages, others business Web sites.
  • The site, mobile content and MySpace pages rolled-out simultaneously.
  • A beta version of Flash 9 was used so visitors could view and zoom-in on several stories at once.

Comments by Big Spaceship:

How did this project compare with others you’ve worked on in the past?
“Every project we work on begins with a story. This time, the story had already been told—and filmed. Because the majority of the audience for the project would be online, where the full stories were revealed, additional films and content were created for the Web. Our challenge was to take the video and showcase it online in a gateway experience that, while strong enough to stand alone, ultimately functioned as an exhibition of the rich material.

“Serving as the main conduit for the experience, we needed to draw the audience into the intimate surroundings. Working with a considerable amount of footage, we seamlessly combined the video and audio, layering in a near-hidden navigation to craft an especially covert atmosphere. In essence, it was a translation of a real-world experience into a similar paradigm online. The campaign unfolded in a unique way: HBO and OnDemand teasers built awareness, while a public event generated buzz by projecting the video onto a Lower East Side building.

“Key to this project was an approach that centered on collaboration. As HBO and BBDO were producing the film, we were concurrently designing the interactive concept. The success of the project is ultimately the result of the communication between the teams.”

Big Spaceship (Brooklyn, NY), project design and development
BBDO, ad agency
HBO, client