Video still for Ivy4Evr

An interactive SMS drama commissioned by Channel 4 Education

Ivy has left home because Lilsis has done the dirty on her and she's no longer sure who her friends are. For a week she'll tell you **everything** but can she trust you and what will you tell her?

Ivy4Evr graphic

Introduction

Ivy4Evr uses SMS to go places that other dramas can’t go – onto your phone and into your pocket. Ivy wriggles into your life, sending you messages on the way to school, college or last thing at night. Ivy’s life is parallel to yours: she sends boozy updates late on Saturday night and sarcastic chat on a boring Sunday afternoon. And if you send her messages she will chat with you about sex, music and everything else that really matters to a teenager growing up in Britain today.

About the Project

Ivy4Evr is an SMS drama for teenagers created by Blast Theory, written by Tony White, author of novels including Foxy-T (Faber), and commissioned by Channel 4 Education. The project was designed by Blast Theory and developed by Tizuni.

After registering your mobile number and email address on the Ivy4Evr website, participants begin to get SMS messages from Ivy – ranging from quick updates about the minutiae of her life right at that moment, to pleas for help with her dilemmas about friends versus family, college and band commitments. You can reply to Ivy as often as you like, and the more you do, the more you hear back from her.

The project uses a medium that is ubiquitous in the life of British teenagers – SMS. Blast Theory’s research with teenagers has shown that the majority have pay-as-you-go or prepay tariffs that offer large bundles of SMS messages each month, making messages much more affordable than even a short phone call. The pithy, asynchronous, quasi-anonymous nature of SMS is ideal for intimate conversations and, in contrast to the ephemeral nature of voice calls, text messages can be kept and shared. Ivy’s story and her interactions via SMS balance the potential intimacy of one to one conversations with grotesque, laugh-out-loud messages that you have to show to friends.

In addition to the central narrative that runs through each seven-day episode, there are a number of themes that you can explore with Ivy in detail if you choose. Once you express interest in one of these areas – some of which include music, family and pregnancy – you can enter into a discussion with Ivy. As these conversations build, the messages become more personal and intimate, with each participant able to decide how far the conversation will go.

Ivy4Evr has a number of educational outcomes. The main themes are sex and drugs, with Ivy offering a distinctive voice with learning outcomes that go beyond what is currently available. The project does not take a moral position on sexual promiscuity and drug use, but instead offers a realistic, personalised and private space for young people to explore these issues. The story immerses participants in Ivy’s dilemmas and asks for opinions and views, allowing participants to explore these questions for themselves.

Ivy4Evr’s main themes are sex and drugs, with Ivy offering a distinctive voice with learning outcomes that go beyond what is currently available. The project does not take a moral position on sexual promiscuity and drug use, but instead offers a realistic, personalised and private space for young people to explore these issues. The story aims to immerse participants in Ivy’s dilemmas and asks for opinions and views, allowing participants to explore these questions for themselves.

The Story

Ivy is 17 and she is in a band. She lives in the kind of small town where girls who are different get picked on. And Ivy is different: she takes risks, she rocks hard and she’s a bit too honest. She is the best friend you could ever have as a young teenager; she’s older, a bit more experienced and her life is changing fast.

As the project begins, Lilsis has posted an incriminating photo of Ivy on Facebook. Ivy leaves home for a few days to get some space and stays with her best friend Adz, where she gets the chance to join his band..

Following the pilot episode in 2010, we wrote a 40 page report for Channel 4 and Matt was invited to share some of the extraordinary interactions in a presentation at The Story. One of the remarkable statistics shown by our study is that response rates to Ivy’s conversation ‘ladders’ averaged over 80%. Set alongside the personal, touching and delicate exchanges of messages between Ivy and participants this demonstrates the potential for SMS as a medium for interactive drama.

Tagged with
Related Projects