During the election period, the most prominent television debates as well as the late night daily talk shows on RTL4 were supported by Ex Machina’s second screen technology, allowing tens of thousands participants via smartphone, laptop and tablet to have real-time interaction during live television.

The Story

In the run-up to the parliamentary elections, RTL News aired the latest political news under the umbrella title ‘Dutch elections’. Through various programs and online activities, RTL News positioned itself as the source of information for anyone who wants to keep up with the latest developments surrounding the elections. The formats were hosted by news anchor Rick Nieman and political reporter Frits Wester.

Real time participation and social integration

While watching, the viewers could express their sentiment, their appreciation or disapproval, of the on-going discussion using a like and dislike button. During (commercial) intervals, viewers were asked to take a stand followed immediately by the results of this poll in the webapp. Twitterfeeds using ‘#watkiestnederland’ and RTL’s selection of twitterfeeds were integrated in the application allowing viewers to see what the rest of the nation was saying about the political discussion on TV. And every time a friend reacted to a poll or expressed his sentiment, your second screen would show this.

And the winner is…

For the first time in history, the winner of the debate was officially determined entirely by the crowd instead of the usual experts, political journalists or a small poll. The choice of the broadcasters to hand the power completely to the second screen user turned out to be ground-breaking. It was the starting point of an unprecedented domino effect ending with a significant shift in official opinion polling, giving the candidate who won over the second screen a substantial boost in the campaign period.

Facts & Figures

  • Enriching the news coverage for September 2012 national elections
  • Used for 2 Debates, 13 Talkshows, 1 Election night
  • Live ‘sentiment meter’ and realtime polls
  • Social integration: see what your facebook and Twitter friends are doing
  • Debate winner determined by second screen users
  • Results feedback on TV, discussed by presenters and guests
  • Final debate: 120.000 participants, 55.000 votes for winner
  • More accurate prediction of election outcome than the official polls

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