December 25, 2022
Building interactive and personal experiences during VRT’s week-long charity event
In December 2022, ‘De Warmste Week’ (The Warmest week), VRT’s annual charity week, took place in Hasselt to aid people who live in extreme poverty and lack basic life necessities. Over the course of seven days, four presenters of VRT’s main radio channels (Studio Brussels and MNM) gathered in ‘Het Warmste Huis’ (The Warmest House) to play request songs of all Flemings who donated money to one of the 270 projects fighting against deprivation. In the meantime, people could present their creative fundraising activities, attend concerts of national and international singers and DJs, or participate in one of the five Warmathons (running races organised in different Flemish cities on behalf of DWW). In total, VRT’s solidarity action collected an enchanting sum of €5.081.675, over 3.000 different actions were organised and a stunning 102.000 visitors visited 'Het Warmste Huis’.
Innovation inside the campaign villages
During this edition of ‘De Warmste Week’ (DWW), VRT implemented some new tools and applications that elevated the interactive experience of visitors at 'Het Warmste Huis’. People who organised a fundraising event were able to record a 5 to 6 minutes-long video in one of the DWW-campaign villages. In this video, they had the chance to explain their solidarity initiative, share stories or anecdotes of their action, and clarify the purpose of their activities. Subsequently, the initiators were able to immediately share these videos on their social media accounts. Thanks to dedicated VRT software, which supported the video editing and saved people’s recordings, it was possible to organise this process in an efficient and streamlined way.
Virtual flames take over 'Het Warmste Huis'
Next to facilitating storytelling through videos, VRT also worked on elevating the visitors’ personal experiences. For this, the team worked on animating the logo of the flame according to people’s preferences. The animations were projected on big LED-screens at 'Het Warmste Huis’. The idea of creating these miniature digital flames was preferred above lighting an actual flame. During previous editions of DWW, people that undertook a solidarity action were rewarded with both a request song and a real flame, making the flame an essential, recognisable and indispensable element of DWW. This edition however, the physical flame got replaced by a brand-new virtual variant, explains Joachim Vandoorne (Creative director at Ketnet).
In the creative process of developing the virtual flames, VRT collaborated with Belgian digital creative agency Nocomputer, specialised in the creative development of interactive screens. The fruitful partnership resulted in a combination of two important and innovative elements. On the one hand, the interactive flame visuals were created, while on the other hand, a useful app for the creation of the flames was developed. This app was in turn used in the campaign villages, ensuring that people themselves could design their flame character according to their own taste. People got access to the creation-app via a QR-code and once the flame was created, they were able to bring the flame to life as their animation got projected onto the led screens or appeared in their self-recorded video.
Co-creator Joachim Vandoorne describes exactly how the creative process works:
DWW experimented with some other applications of this technology too. Following the LED projection in “The Warmest House”, the team placed a digital Christmas tree in the city centre of Hasselt, which gave people the opportunity to project their flame on this tree or let the flame run around the tree. On the long term, the use of these innovative animations definitely has a high degree of potential within DWW and inside VRT’s other productions.