Bravo is teaming up with Bunchball, the leader in gamification, to give fans a chance to help their favorite “chef’testant be crowned “Virtual Top Chef” by joining the competition at BravoTV.com. The “Virtual Top Chef” game features all 18 chef’testants from the current “Top Chef All-Stars” season. Fans begin by choosing their favorite chef’testant, then earn points and trophies by completing actions and activities on BravoTV.com. The chef’testant whose team has the most points come season’s end will be honored with the “Virtual Top Chef title.” Additionally, all players will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000. Fans are not only awarded points and compete for rankings, but the more they play, the more they increase their chances to win.
“Top Chef fans are incredibly loyal and passionate, so we wanted to find an innovative way to reward them for their dedication to the show, season after season, said Mari Ghuneim, Vice President, Bravo Digital Media. “We’re giving them an opportunity to be part of the competition in this truly engaging online experience. The ‘Virtual Top Chef’ challenge allows fans to connect with the chefs that they’ve grown to love through content they won’t find anywhere else.
The competition focuses on strategy and team dynamics such as joining popular teams to be with more fans or recruiting friends to other teams, and fans can switch “chef teams at any time. This constant movement across teams can change the standings at any time, often in dramatic fashion, to keep fans coming back to the contest.
· There are 18 total teams: each chef’testant from the current season of “Top Chef All-Stars” leads a team.
· Fans earn points through various actions and activities on BravoTV.com; including watching videos, reading blogs, playing games, viewing photos, sharing to social networks, and more.
· Top earning team members are highlighted on the team page, although fans can switch teams at any time making the contest’s outcome impossible to predict.
· Fans will earn trophies for completing certain challenges. Trophies will be displayed on the player’s profile page on BravoTV.com. All players are entered into a sweepstakes for $5,000- the more points a player earns the more chances they have to win.
“Applying intuitive game mechanics to the Bravo community builds a much deeper dimension of customer interaction and participation, said Rajat Paharia, founder and chief product officer at Bunchball. “It makes sense to integrate a virtual competition alongside Top Chef All-Stars, since rivalry is at the heart of the show; fans get to root for their favorite chef beyond the TV screen by helping them win the popular vote online as well.
On April 6, 2011, after the conclusion of the eighth season, the winning team of the competition will be announced and the “Virtual Top Chef” will be crowned, as well as the winner of the $5,000 cash award.