Marketing

A&E Stunt Hopes to Capture Eyeballs

2/28/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

A&E Network is turning to the criminal
element for help promoting its original scripted drama,
Breakout Kings.

Bowing March 6 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), Breakout
Kings
, from Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, the
writers/producers of Fox’s Prison Break, is an ensemble
action series centering on an unusual partnership
between the U.S. Marshal’s office and a
group of convicts
that work to corral
fugitives on the
run.

The original series
is being promoted
in part by a
“Captured” campaign
that wi l l
take place in the
real world and
online. A&E is
staging a scavenger
hunt wherein
consumers can
track down and
“capture” virtual
convicts, sporting
orange prison
jumpsuits.

Directed by online clues to predetermined locales,
consumers using the cameras on their iPhones and a
free app from GoldRun will be able to spot and capture
the “augmented reality escapees” on the run in
high-traffic pedestrian areas in Los Angeles (Hollywood
and Highland
), Chicago (Magnificent Mile),
Philadelphia (Rittenhouse Row), San Francisco and
New York (Times Square and Union Square). One of
the elusive virtual quarry: an image of Robert Knepper,
the actor who played Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell
on Prison Break, whose character will appear in one
installment of Breakout Kings, according to A&E senior
vice president of marketing Guy Slattery.

“We want to surprise people, capture their attention
and create awareness for the show,” said A&E
vice president of marketing Guy Slattery. “That ultimately
will translate into eyeballs for the network.”

Each day, A&E will post the GoldRun pictures taken
by users on the Breakout Kings Facebook page
(www.facebook.com/BreakoutKings). Th ere, consumers
can enter their e-mail address for a chance
to win cash prizes — between $500 and $2,500 —
March 3-31 and can view the show’s trailer.

Slattery believes the promotion will entice consumers
to the show’s debut and beyond. “We can
talk on Breakout
Kings’ Facebook
page, start
an ongoing dialog
and get people
engaged in the
show,” he said.
“People always like
the idea of cash,
but they also like
to see their photos
posted online
on a network’s site.
By running this
throughout March,
we will keep them
engaged post premiere
week.”

Moreover, in
Manhattan, A&E
will affix some 200 of the prison uniforms to bus
benches, fences, wild-posting walls, bathroom walls
in bars and restaurants, plus store windows and inside
such retailers as Kenneth Cole, Brooklyn Industries
and O.M.G. outlets.

A&E, via Civic Entertainment, is also training 10
street team “convicts,” who will “be on the run” in
New York, serving as human billboards by visiting
high-traffic locations and tourist destinations.

The “real” and virtual convicts are part of a
360-degree campaign that includes on-air and
online promos across AETN’s portfolio, local and
network TV buys, a radio schedule, cinema ads, billboards
and other outdoor media in New York, Los
Angeles and Chicago.

November