The world’s largest media network, Discovery Channel, is distributed in over 220 countries and territories. In Japan, the Discovery Channel offers many programs from abroad, yet it also proactively promotes original program productions domestically in order to offer the world content unique to Japan and thereby adding extra value to the programming. The theme for this award was to “challenge yourselves to create a program which is unique to Japan and a little different from what’s been created up until now, and then share it with the world.” Loftwork endeavored to keep this theme at the center of the project while aiming to expand the characteristics and possibilities of Japanese original content. Utilizing the co-creation platform “AWRD”, we put out a call for films that focus on people, and thus the DiscoveRu Awards were born.
In addition to a monetary prize, the three award-winning works were to be aired on the Discovery Channel as well as the Discovery Channel’s official YouTube channel.
Project page>> https://awrd.com/award/discovery_award (Japanese page)
Three works were selected for the award from a field of 21 outstanding entries.
“Searching for unsurpassable paper –tearing paper musician, Shuichi Fukui’s challenge-“
Title：「PAIKOTSU」 Creator：kohe Matsui
Title：「彼の場合」 Creator：GANA KOBAYASHI
In addition to film professionals from the Discovery Channel, the editor-in-chief of the online media outlet “OMOKORO” was asked to be a judge as a way to both increase recognition for the DiscoveRyu Awards and to motivate participants. In addition to being a judge, the editor-in-chief also served as an advisor and gave feedback during the production phase.
Clients’ issues and background
When most people think of the Discovery Channel, global content such as documentaries reporting on the ecology of unknown animals and historical images not covered in school comes to mind. However, today’s entertainment is disseminated through multiple screens and via two-way communication, so there is demand for content that makes us feel close and connected in a variety of ways.
Accordingly, the core concept of this project was “discovering” a person, where we would focus on slightly unusual people who take action and promote a message by engaging with issues from their own unique perspective in Japan. We focused on creating documentaries, working to find superhumans and eccentric people who exist around us but have yet to be discovered, and therefore are not widely-known celebrities, using the AWRD platform to solicit a wide range of applications.
Why We Chose to Host an Award Project
Loftwork maintains a global creator network of over 40,000 creators through channels such as AWRD and FabCafe.
We believed that an award challenge would not only function as a networking device to gather and honour excellent creative contributions, but would also be effective in areas such as value discovery and validation, content development, branding, and PR. Drawing on our experiences hosting a large variety of original awards, we implemented the DiscoveRyu Awards in a way that recognizes works involving various creators.
What the Project Involved
Vi. One stop shop for entries, judging and award ceremony
The decision on the award title:
We chose “DiscoveRyu Award” for the title of the project, as the character “ryu” means “way” or “method” in Japanese. Therefore, the etymology of the title combines “discovery” with the Discovery channel’s way of discovering, which was then used along with the hashtag “DO DISCOVER” across social media channels to reach the Japanese fans who watch the Discovery Channel.
In order to go beyond a simple video award and emphasize discovery in visual and Japanese expression, we invited Mr. Toru Shioka to work with us, known for his excellent taste in manga design.
The resulting image represented our vision for an award to recognize Japan’s unique content, as well as something that would be different from previous discoveries. This image also helped to associate the project with the growing revival of Showa-period animation.
A platform that makes application easy:
Using the AWRD platform, we solicited applications using various communication methods, such as distributing email magazines to our current registered creators.
Designing the award ceremony:
The award ceremony was designed to not only take venue arrangement themes into consideration, but also catering themes and trophies.
How did the DiscoveRu Awards become a success?
Regarding the video quality of the broadcast:
The goal for this project was to be aired on the Discovery Channel. Therefore, video quality suitable for broadcast was a necessary component for entries. The following measures were implemented for quality control purposes.
Promotion of team submission
Rather than having applicants send in selfies (or self-produced videos), it was suggested to applicants that they team up with a cameraman to prevent applicants with excellent skills and ideas from being rejected in the review process due to poor video quality. As a result, in addition to promoting video quality control, the number of entries from artists and performers increased, and the award framework succeeded in greatly expanding.
Implementation of an advisor system
The advisor system became an important part of the quality control process for these works. Applicants who passed the first review were offered an opportunity to fine-tune their work to the level expected for the DiscoveRyu Award, utilizing a one-on-one system with advisors until the second review. Thanks to this process, the second review had many excellent submissions after the fun aspects and video quality had been polished with an eye toward the common goal of airing them on the Discovery Channel.
PR activities by advisors and ambassadors
As part of the plan to make the award more widely recognized, video creators, YouTubers, and modern artists were asked to participate in the award project as ambassadors. They also gave a boost to the project by actually participating as applicants.
PR through promotions with outside media
As a second measure to gain further recognition for the award, a promotional article was produced with the creative magazine “BAUS”, running interviews with advisors and ambassadors. The PR measures we implemented boosted the award and increased solicitations.
Airing on the Discovery Channel after receiving the award
After the DiscoveRyu Award concluded, in addition to the prize money, the works were aired on the Discovery Channel and distributed around the world on the Discovery Channel’s official YouTube channel.
The award offered a unique place for video creators to show their work, with the project acting as a catalyst to highlight how the whole world is overflowing with creativity.
“DiscoveRu AWARD DISCOVERY! SAPIENS NEAR YOU” Website
Contact us / Consultation
AWRD is an online platform designed to connect individual people’s creativity and ideas with projects from around the world. Please contact us at the address below if you would like to learn more about AWRD or have any inquiries regarding collaboration requests or past projects.