Creating Sky TV's X Factor Community


X Factor is one of the most successful TV programs in the world; it’s the biggest television talent competition in Europe and its popularity in Italy is on the up.

This year, we worked with Sky TV to help make the sixth series of X Factor Italy the most interactive and social one so far. We wanted to create a campaign that capitalised on the X Factor’s popularity in order to develop Sky’s digital assets. And we also wanted to bring about the first complete social TV experience in Italy.

So, we created the X Factor Community: a social app accessible via Facebook and mobile devices that changed the rules of the show, adding a fifth judge to the panel – a special one: the public!

The app combined regular new content with an innovative live experience, helping the audience really get involved with their favourite TV Show – not only on their TV screens, but on their second screens too.

To make the app really engaging, we introduced a gaming element by transforming every live action and social interaction into an opportunity for the audience to win points. Participating fans were ranked in two different ways during the series: weekly rankings, with a chance to win tickets to the live shows in Milan, and the overall general ranking, with a chance to win a brand new mobile device in partnership with Samsung.

Points could be scored in lots of different ways: from using the app to vote, to entering live quizzes and polls, to the ‘Applausemeter’ – a bespoke app that allowed users to share their opinion through a virtual “clap” or “boo” after each singer’s performance.

At the same time, we ran a Twitter campaign to foster cross-platform conversation. We used the hashtag #XF6 to interact with X Factor fans and linked these interactions to the X Factor Community by making tweets count towards the users’ ranking on the app.

On top of this, each show was covered by Sky’s official Italian Twitter account @SkyUno with tweets before, during and after the program. We also used Twitter to share exclusive backstage content – photos and videos – in real time.

Viewers could even use Twitter to vote – for the first time ever in Italy, this ‘social vote’ directly influenced the final results of the X Factor challenge!

It was a huge success. More than 100,000 people used our X Factor Community app each month, with over 1.3 million Facebook shares per week and more than 66 million claps on Applausemeter. Throughout the series, 6.2 million votes were registered through mobile or Facebook.

We even broke some Italian records on Twitter – X Factor became the most mentioned TV show on Twitter in Italy, and during the two live finals, all ten of Twitter’s trending topics related to the show.

We had a lot of fun working on this project with Sky TV, and we got some really great results. We succeeded in helping Sky reach their goal of making the sixth edition of X Factor Italy the most interactive and social series yet. The campaign modernised traditional Italian TV, both digitally and socially, and successfully delivered Italy’s first complete Social TV experience.