What’s in a Name? Multi-Platform Content from History TV, marblemedia

Toronto-based marblemedia has begun production on an original cross-platform series and website for History Television, developed to take audiences through the naming of Canada’s most notable people, places and things.

Toronto-based marblemedia has begun production on an original cross-platform series and website for History Television, developed to take audiences through the naming of Canada’s most notable people, places and things.

 The original concept actually began as a website, but has now expanded into a 13-part TV series, being produced in HD.  Shooting is scheduled to wrap in May.

The yet-to-be named property will premiere on History Television fall 2011, and the show format will be made available for distribution to other markets through Distribution 360, René d’Entremont, Manager of Communications for marblemedia, told Mediacaster Magazine.

The series will explore the history and origin of names, from Chef Susur Lee’s new restaurant to a new small-town beer to a team from the Women’s National Hockey League.

Even the TV show itself will be named through an online contest. To date, nearly 45,000 Canadians have registered their unique name suggestions. The contest closes in April this year.

Parallel to pre-production, marble’s Gemini Award-winning interactive department launchedNamethis.ca, the website that allows Canadians to enter the nation-wide contest and submit name suggestions.

That website will also host bonus video content exclusive to the site, d’Entremont added. Users will be able to explore the meaning of names and their origins through quizzes and polls. They will also have access to tools to digitally visualize their name. The site will also host a blog where naming experts will answer questions from fans.

While the television show is geared towards a broad audience, the online experience is meant to offer a more personal experience, he noted

Some of the most intriguing and thought-provoking names will be profiled in the forthcoming TV series.

Each TV episode will take viewers through the process taken by corporations, entrepreneurs, and even well-known personalities in making a final decision on what to call their soon-to-launch product. The contemporary storyline launches into the fascinating history of where names have come from through the centuries.

“This project truly allows audiences to leave their mark on history by naming the next big thing,” said Matt Hornburg, Executive Producer/Partner, marblemedia. “While the TV series will explore this process, the website will engage people in a more intimate experience on what’s most important to them, their name, allowing them to discover the roots of their first and last names as well as connect with others online in a sizeable social experiment.”

The project’s Series Producer is Maggie Sutcliffe, an award-winning factual producer who has worked for major UK broadcasters – BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and ITV. Maggie worked as Co-Executive Producer on Weird or What with William Shatner, which is a top-rated, primetime series airing on Discovery Channel in the U.S. and History Television in Canada.

“It’s surprising how much names affect us in our daily lives, and how they help shape our opinions about the people we meet and the products we use,” added Maggie Sutcliffe, Series Producer. “The series will explore the history of naming successes and failures over the centuries.”

marblemedia is building an immersive website that will extend the brand to new audiences with a fun, re-playable social experience. Visitors will be able to uncover the roots of a name, its place in history as well as its global popularity. They will also be able to share the fun through Facebook, helping friends to experience their own names in new and surprising ways, further extending the audience reach with social media.

Activities, quizzes and games will contribute to a dynamic, ever-changing dashboard that will use eye-catching design and creative visualizations to turn a name into an adventure. 

Founded in 2001 by Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg, Toronto-based marblemedia is a content creation company at the intersection of television and new media production, telling stories that entertain and engage audiences across multiple digital media platforms.

marblemedia was named Company of the Year by the Canadian New Media Awards in 2008, and was recognized by the Hollywood Reporter as a Next Generation Content Producer in 2009.

The company’s describes its notable projects as including the teen competition series The Adrenaline Project; the hit preschool series, This is Daniel Cook and This is Emily Yeung; the first television series and website in American Sign Language, deafplanet.com; the mobile short film anthology Shorts in Motion: The Art of Seduction; Taste Buds, a kids cooking and food adventure series; The Dating Guy,a hooked-up animated comedy about the single life of twenty-somethings in the city; and Skatoony, North America’s first animated/live-action quiz show adventure that pits tweens and toons against each other in four frantic, trivia-based rounds. marble’s newest project is Splatalot, a hilarious medieval-themed physical game show geared to the 8-12 year-old audience, which will air this year on YTV in Canada, BBC in the U.K. and ABC in Australia.

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