Bravo’s ‘Top Design’ expands its virtual world

During the first season of Bravo’s interior design program “Top Design,” NBC Universal Digital Media saw such success through its partnership with social networking platform Cyworld USA that it is expanding the alliance.

Last season, the show’s viewers were directed to for a variety of interactive online promotions, including the “Online Design Challenge” and “Design Your Own Dream Room Challenge” game, both sponsored by Cyworld USA. In addition, a “Top Design” fan club on had users creating their own design profiles by purchasing an exclusive collection of digital items based on the show.

“Users take the product and embellish it and make it their own,” said Michael Streefland, vice president of sales and marketing at Cyworld USA, San Francisco. “We felt that this was a great way to address people in high school who may be trying to decide who they want to be when they grow up and if they would like to have a career in design.”

The promotions are aimed at a 16- to 24-year-old demographic. The range of digital décor options for users’ virtual rooms, such as wallpapers, rugs and vases, are based on the winning designs of each week’s on-air challenge. These “Top Design”-inspired collectibles became the top-selling digital items to date for Cyworld USA. An item’s average price is the equivalent of 40 to 50 cents.

The latest promotion “Top Design 3D Throw-Down” extends the idea of virtual decorating from two dimensions to three. It debuted April 23. It is a five-month, five- room challenge where Cyworld USA members and show fans post their living room, bedroom, office, bathroom and dining room designs for viewing and voting. 3D products are available for free in an attempt to test the popularity of offering 3D items.

“I think that 3D will be very popular as long as users are able to change it into their own,” Mr. Streefland said. “Because then when they can shape it to be their own, it becomes social media. It is another way to show who you are and build your identity.”

In an attempt to keep users engaged during the show’s hiatus, Cyworld USA is enhancing the “Top Design” Club to give fans with a place to connect during the break. The “Top Design” Club will feature an immersive social network and commerce platform from View22, a 3D Web experiential marketing provider. View22 lets Bravo’s “Top Design” viewers and Cyworld USA members design their own spaces by customizing and sharing rich, interactive 3D spaces.

In addition, the top five entries of the “Top Design 3D Throw-Down,” as determined by user ratings, will win a package of limited edition, original fashions from Cyworld USA and “Top Design” contestants.

This partnership comes after Bravo’s daytime drama “Passions” saw positive results with another Cyworld USA promotion.

“We are pleased to expand our relationship with NBC Universal as we strive to provide more innovative ways for them to grow the brand and reach consumers in an engaging and creative environment,” Mr. Streefland said. “We saw great success with the ‘Passions’ campaign, and found ‘Top Design’ was a natural fit with our goal of offering members choices for creativity, personalization, self-expression and communication.”

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