The world’s first fictional social network, devised and created by Democracy for Hollyoaks, has been awarded the Royal Television Award North West for Innovation in Multiplatform.
The ground-breaking digital project, DocYou, was designed by Democracy to bring to life the all consuming, 24/7 living nightmare, that victims of cyberbullying experience.
Scriptwriters planned to bring the issues of cyberbullying into focus through a storyline that would see bubbly sixth former Esther’s life turned upside down as she became hounded by her closest classmates – DocYou came to life as the network upon which the bullying took place.
Mirroring the activity of existing networks, it gave viewers 24/7 access to unbroadcasted content of Esther and her peers – the LOLs, the likes, the comments, the tagged photos and the vile, undermining taunts – so they could witness this ordeal taking over her whole life.
Fulfilling four key objectives – entertainment, education, engagement and audience extension – DocYou was a ground breaking way to make a TV show exist beyond its 6.30-7pm slot. It successfully captured the destructive nature of cyberbullying first hand, and engaged viewers calling them to voice their disapproval with over 20,000 comments posted on the site in six weeks. Furthermore it reached previously untapped audiences thanks to the supporting PR campaign implemented by Democracy resulting in Hollyoaks receiving its highest viewing figures in two years, with 2.5m tuning in for Esther’s suicide episodes.