2nd screen app for BBC Top Gear

With the growing trend for 2nd screen apps, and television broadcasters working on making audiences more engaged and active in the online communities accompanying programmes, the BBC have launched Top Gear Bingo! which is based on British based Monterosa’s LViS platform, a leader in the deployment of 2nd screen opportunities for content creators and broadcasters.

The app encourages viewers to look out for well known phrases (I supect, “….in the world’ is in there and, cars and objects (CoolfFridge?) synonymous with the BBC’s motoring programme, ticking them off on their screens in a similar style to a traditional bingo game.

The free-to-play web app is accessed by logging into the local BBC channel’s website where viewers can invite friends to join them through Facebook, comparing scores while playing along with the live broadcast, with a new game available with every episode.

Duncan Gray, Commercial Director of Top Gear at BBC Worldwide says: “We wanted to create a free Top Gear game that enhances our international viewers’ enjoyment of the show’s premiere broadcast. Top Gear Bingo! does just that, allowing fans to look out for words, phrases and items that appear, competing with their friends to see who can get the highest score each week via a leaderboard if you log in with Facebook. And we hope that the unique way we’ve been able to integrate advertisers into the proposition will be well received.”


“We wanted to create a free Top Gear game that enhances our international viewers’ enjoyment of the show’s premiere broadcast. Top Gear Bingo! does just that, allowing fans to look out for words, phrases and items that appear, competing with their friends to see who can get the highest score each week via a leaderboard if you log in with Facebook.”.

It would be interesting to know more about the demographics of the global Top Gear audience – an audience of around 300 million people. I have resisted ‘over-engagement’ with 2nd screen & forum apps. I have never entered a television competotion and I have never voted for a singer with a sick granny. Nor do I read ahead on the spoilers atDigitalSpy. And yet, I find myself increasingly using my iPad as I watch television. “What was she in?, “Where did they shoot that?” are the sort of quick question I find myself desperate to answer. As humialiting as it may seem, that an hour and a half of brilliant Stephen Poliakoff drama can’t keep my entire attention, I too appear to be suffering from the shrinking attention span pandemic that is encircling the globe. I should know better, I should focus, conentrate and immerse myself. But there’s something about access to (quite) interesting minutiae that is hard to resist.

I think broadcasters are only finding their feet here though. There are attractive elements to the Top Gear Bingo app – the Grey’s Anatomy watch-along experiement was interesting. I think we’ll see these apps become more complete but with more breadth, rather than depth. The audience experience is about the content, the TV show or event itself. The app is essentially a side-dish. It needs to provide access, and fast access, to facts, trivia, cast and crew. Forum discussions, plot catch-ups and viewer feedback will be there – but the app needs, often in real time, to connect viewer and content. Getting the viewer to look down at the app is crucial, but it’s equally important to get the user to look back up, just at the right time.

  1. BBC Top Gear Official Site
  2. Monterosa’s 2nd screen app platform
  3. BBC R&D Blog /2010/Second Screen App for Autumnwatch
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