MTV Uses Oddcast Avatars in Online Program

Richard Tedesco
May 1, 2008

MTV is using talking avatars to enliven interest in online program environments created to spark conversation between viewers about its shows.

The avatar platform MTV is using will provide literal talking points for three network series, "The Hills," "Pimp My Ride" and "The Real World." The platform is the handiwork of Oddcast.

The interactive avatar environments, called playgrounds, permit users to animate the figures with their own voices and send audio messages via e-mail or for online posting. Users can also post comments on the virtual MTV community site, or on their own social networking pages.

The objective is to attract Web surfers to engage in dialogue about the shows through the vehicle of the avatars.

"Avatars, because they're so visible and with the ability to add voice, become more engaging," Shaival Shah, Oddcast vice president of business development, said. "The driving theme here is that the expression of voice is much more personal."

Users simply speak to their PCs or MACs - typically equipped with a microphone device - to record their voices in the persona of the avatar they choose.

MTV hopes that the more the people who talk about the shows through the avatars, the more apt they will be to tune in to future episodes.

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