Inside the Digis: Hunted aims to push consumption boundaries

The best cross-platform fiction nominee was tied to Cinemax's new series and was supported by not only social media pushes but also out of home advertising.

Leading up to this year’s Digi Awards Tuesday in Toronto, Playback checks in with the nominees in the cross-platform fiction and web series non-fiction categories to present these mini case studies on their projects.

Here, Jam3′s Pablo Vio, one of the creative directors on Hunted, tells Playback about creating cryptic and challenging psychological tests.

Project: Hunted, a transmedia campaign created for Cinemax’s series, Hunted, to introduce the lead character and create buzz in advance of the series launch.

Nominated for: Best cross-platform fiction

People/Companies: Jam3, Campfire NYC, Cinemax

Components/platforms: Five online psychological tests (Byzantium Tests), including testing ability to follow directions, multi-tasking skills, and facial recognition technology powered by nViso app to record and measure emotions and expressions; social integration via Facebook, Reddit and GetGlue; OOH ads on Wall Street, placed during anniversary of Occupy Wall Street; exclusive footage and information on site for fictional Byzantium Security.

Objective: “The objective was to expose the TV show and the main characters. The show Hunted revolves around Sam Hunter, an agent of Byzantium Security International, a private intelligence agency protecting the world’s elite. We wanted to create a story experience within a game-like setting, that slowly revealed the darker, more complex nature of the fictional company at the heart o the show. Our brief was to create a dynamic entertainment experience with built-in social sharing, that introduced the lead character, and created buzz in advance of the show premiere. Developed with a cognitive psychologist, the site offers a series of five increasingly creepy tests, with a killer finale that has to be seen to be believed.”

Time spent: Approximately four months from initial creative meetings to launch.

Did you meet your objective? What was your ROI or audience engagement stats/numbers? “In six weeks the site exploded in user traffic, thanks to viral waves on Tumblr, Twitter, and Reddit. The experience quickly gained momentum, almost completely through social sharing and pass-along. In the first ten weeks, over one million unique visitors took the Byzantium Tests, propelling the program to the front page of Reddit multiple times. Users spent an average of 14 minutes on the site. The project has also been featured in Wired and Creativity, and has won The FWA site of the day.”

Thoughts on the transmedia and interative space: “The challenge is not in designing or building and experience, the difference really starts with creating innovative storytelling that pushes the boundaries of content consumption.”