Adsarchive » Promo , Case study » HBO » BOARDWALK EMPIRE LIQUID BUILDOUTS


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Industry TV Channels/Radio Stations and Programmes
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Hbo
Released August 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Outdoor
Advertiser: HBO
Agency: HBO
Date of First Appearance: Aug 23 2010
Entrant Company: HBO, New York, USA
EVP, Consumer Marketing: Courteney Monroe (HBO)
VP, Brand Marketing: Chris Spadaccini (HBO)
Director, Advertising & Promotions: Sono Mitchell (HBO)
Associate Manager, Advertising & Promotions: Pia Chaozon (HBO)
Coordinator, Advertising & Promotions: Brooke Stone (HBO)
Bus Shelter Creative: (BLT & Associates)
Media placement: Liquid Buildouts Bus Shelters - OOH NY, Chicago, LA, Philadelphia - 23 August, 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
To launch the series premiere of the new, critically-acclaimed HBO series, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, our goal was to position the show as an epic crime/period drama with marquee screenwriting and directorial talent, and powerful storytelling. Faced with fierce competition and high expectations, our challenge was to differentiate Boardwalk Empire from a cluttered landscape of contemporary crime/period dramas with a brand identity that was unique, exciting, and prestigious.

The key strategy was to surround and engage audiences by “turning back the clock” and bringing to life the era of Prohibition using promotions and partnerships thematically styled around the backdrop of Atlantic City, 1920.

To maximize audience potential and drive sampling across all major consumer segments, we targeted a broad Adult 25+ audience (male skew) to drive mass awareness, but designed the campaign to reach key secondary segments such as Women 25+, industry/trade, gangster genre and period drama enthusiasts.

Creative Execution
HBO and its partner agencies engaged the media marketplace to develop several high impact and first-to-market promotions that brought the communications to life.

Recreating the style and mood of a speakeasy, street-level “Countdown to Prohibition” bus shelters were installed in select markets. These innovative, first to market outdoor units featured branded benches supported by Prohibition-era wooden casks, and customized liquid displays that decreased in volume over time as the Boardwalk Empire premiere approached. QR codes were featured on the display and when scanned offered a password granting you a free drink and the address of the Prohibition Happy Hour taking place locally that week. Additionally the QR code offered a link to an exclusive video clip.

Results and Effectiveness
The series premiere of BOARDWALK EMPIRE garnered a 10.1/14 household rating and 4.8 million viewers – the best start for an HBO series since 2004 – and the top-rated scripted show across all broadcast and cable for the week of September 13.

Additionally, the marketing campaign generated:
• Over 650MM million impressions from OOH presence
• $5MM+ impressions in added-value via partnerships
• Massive earned media coverage (161MM impressions) via broadcast, digital media and print, including USA Today, New York Times and The Wall Street Journal
• 5:1 ROI on media value vs. campaign cost
• 75K sweepstakes entries