CNN-NEWS18’s ELEX-A (election analytics) offers an elevated studio experience with Vizrt

At CNN-NEWS18, we wanted to provide our viewers something they had never seen before. An idea, yet to be successfully executed anywhere in the world - for election news data presentation.

Produced by CNN-News18 for Vizrt.

THE OPPORTUNITY

The Lok-Sabha Elections (more commonly referred as general elections in India) is like the Olympics for News Broadcasters. It is the largest democratic exercise anywhere in the world with 900 million population eligible to vote to elect their representative of choice.

At CNN-News18, we wanted to provide our viewers something they had never seen before. An idea, yet to be successfully executed anywhere in the world - for election news data presentation. Something that could surprise our viewer and add excitement to the whole experience of watching election coverage on TV or on our digital destination news18.com.

THE CHALLENGE

CNN-News18, owing to its legacy, runs its productions from a relatively smaller studio floor while the competitors have the benefit of newer and bigger sized physical studios that provides flexibility of studio set layouts.

We at CNN-News18 with the intent to provide grandeur and magnificence to the presentation studios decided the use of technology to create differentiation on air. The creative minds deliberated, ideated, decided and designed a very effective and efficient hybrid zone using augmented reality (AR) graphics stitched with virtual set turning the small studio floor into a rich theatre.    

THE STRATEGY

The battle to gain viewership is all about getting the viewer to spend more time watching your network than competition. At CNN-News18, the intent was to provide a compelling viewing experience while making sense of election polls, predictions, history data and finally – election results.

We always have an edge over all competition and are known leaders in the industry towards the use of data with fast and accurate analysis bringing on air on our news channels. By using AR tools we decided to replace traditional, flat infographics with innovative three dimensional motion graphics in a space, where the presenter interacts with the projected visual data in an engaging manner while introducing a novel approach for watching election programming.

We thought to provide the viewer an opportunity to move out from inside the closed walls of studios and in effect impart a flying experience over the vast electoral geography.

CNN-News18’s ELEX-A (election analytics) Presenter used a quadcopter to fly out from the LIVE studio to present the viewers a bird’s eye view of the exit poll and election results plotted over the map of India as AR Graphics.

The high-quality 3D design and precision entailed in execution of the never seen before AR embedded VR effect mesmerized viewers. The political and social guests of high esteem sitting in the studio awed live, as they saw themselves to be part of real and virtual world of creativity.  

In addition, we also designed a virtual elevator that transported our presenter to the inside of Indian parliament where the exit poll or election results were mapped on the Lok Sabha benches providing a very appealing and impressive impact.

Vizrt allowed us to import 3D models of different objects into the scene and provided the tools to create and simulate a 3D environment as an extension of our physical studio using augmented reality. With the help of Viz Virtual Studio’s setup tools we were able to feed in the studio camera’s tracking data to our AR graphics and play them in real time.

CNN-News18

The Result

We were able to make our automated election graphics more engaging by giving them an elevated experience. It gave us an edge over competition who were still using traditional and predictable graphic formats to present election data.

As soon as the Exit poll coverage began, social media which provides an online and instant viewer feedback mechanism, was abuzz with how CNN-News18 had changed the game with its AR presenter flying out of the studio during LIVE programming in a quadcopter.

A well-known politician tweeted after watching our Exit Poll coverage (see below).

CNN-NEWS18 was able to create a talking point across TV news watchers with its innovative election graphics presentation. In a highly competitive television news market, being noticed and talked-about keeps you ahead in the battle for perception.

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