What better way to launch the new USA Network hacker series, Mr. Robot, than to hack SXSW.
Mr. Robot took SXSW by storm and created an experience that not only launched the show to the public, but also promoted the pilot screening at SXSW, and drove interest online through social. In order to spread the word, we accessed SXSW’s beacon network in four key locations that broadcasted a predetermined message to peoples’ phones when they were in proximity of the devices; this gave attendees a sense that Mr. Robot was watching their activity and helping them “hack” SXSW.
In addition to these beacon push notifications we deployed 30 “hackers” on the ground to execute a curated schedule of choreographed vignettes, which garnered festival wide attention from SXSW attendees — sparking conversation and prompting social media interactions (a lot of selfies were taken).
Throughout the four days of activations, the Mr. Robot hackers handed out “White” and “Black” cards to passersby. White cards were informational, and guided attendees to open the SXSW app in order to receive push notifications from Mr. Robot. White cards also served as a prompt for social amplification; selfies taken with a hacker earned participants a black card. Black cards were $10 vouchers redeemable at participating SouthBites food trucks, the Intercontinental Stephen F’s Bar & the Hideout Cafe.
Our efforts paid off, garnering nearly three million impressions generated by the campaign online. The beacon pushes made a significant portion of the 30,000+ person SXSW festival keenly aware of Mr. Robot’s premier on USA Network, ultimately driving people to the show’s premiere screening at the Vimeo Theater. The show went on to win the festival’s 2015 Film Audience Award for Episodic. More soon!