Yahoo! Film, Digital Tap Joint by Pereira & O'Dell San Francisco

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Tap Joint

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Industry Games, Online Game
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile
Market United States
Agency Pereira & O'Dell San Francisco
Production B-Reel
Creative Director Paulo Coelho Santos, Arício Fortes
Art Director Matt Courtney, Keli Linehan
Released August 2011


One Show 2012
One Show Entertainment Gaming / Online gaming Merit

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Games
Advertiser: YAHOO!
Product/Service: WEB SERIES
Chief Creative Officer: PJ Pereira (Pereira & O'Dell)
Creative Director: Aricio Fortes (Pereira & O'Dell)
Creative Director: Paulo Coelho (Pereira & O'Dell)
Writer: Charlie Wolff (Pereira & O'Dell)
Art Director: Keli Linehan (Pereira & O'Dell)
Art Director: Matt Courtney (Pereira & O'Dell)
Director Of Production: Jeff Ferro (Pereira & O'Dell)
Senior Interactive Producer: Kelsie Van Deman (Pereira & O'Dell)
Director Of Client Services: Gary Theut (Pereira & O'Dell)
Management Supervisor: Marisa Quiter (Pereira & O'Dell)
Production Company: (B-Reel)
Sound Design: (Plan8)
Media placement: hotsite - web - march 1st

Describe the objective of the promotion.
Yahoo! challenged us to promote the post-apocalyptic world of Tom Hanks' web series, 'Electric City', a show that’s not like anything most American’s have seen before – animated, graphic, violent, but deeply philosophical. We needed to strike a chord with the future fans of this new web-series. So we put the promotion in the hands of the hardcore fans – the people this show was made for – and, more importantly, we gave them the power to share it with the masses.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
We wanted to promote 'Electric City' like a feature film. So we took the traditional movie trailer and deconstructed it for a new generation. We created a game – a world - where fans congregated to unlock the secrets of 'Electric City' using only a tap kit, a Morse code-like cipher machine. We built a new language for the tap kit and a complex logic system that could respond to anything the user asked. Users worked together to piece together all the elements of a traditional film trailer but in a completely non-linear, interactive, and communal space.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
'Electric City' is not a series meant for the masses. It was created for fan-boys and influencers – a target that is deeply sceptical of traditional marketing (to say the least). So with, we proved that we understood these hardcore fans. We made it difficult, so they’d feel rewarded with every unlocked clue. We made it communal, so they would spread the word in user-created forums, wiki pages, and on Twitter. And we made it fun. It was completely unbranded, meant to entertain and challenge first, and promote second.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
Yahoo! hoped for 20,000 unique visitors to A modest number, but not unreasonable for such a niche audience and a cryptic ARG. We delivered over 300,000 unique visitors. To an unbranded game. With no instructions. Return visitors spent an average of almost 30 minutes with the site. And over just 9 days, total page views surpassed 1m. We had virtually no media to promote the site, so most of our traffic was completely organic – driven by Stumbleupon, user-created forums, fan-made YouTube videos, and Twitter. Media outposts like Wired Magazine buzzed about