SWAMP MOTEL, London / AMAZON PRIME VIDEO / 2021
For May 2021, Amazon Prime Video UK wanted to drive positive brand engagement around the launch of their new series, Panic.
Panic is a game where high-school graduates from a sleepy Texan town spend their summer risking their lives, their limbs, their freedom and their dignity by taking part in a number of illegal games. The game is shrouded in secrecy with clues posted online and in the real world as to when and where the next ‘challenge’ will take place, so as to keep one step ahead of the Sheriff’s department, who are trying to shut the deadly game down.
With the pandemic putting a stop to live red carpet events, press launches and screening parties, Prime Video UK needed to find another way to create a launch moment that would grab the attention of entertainment press, key opinion leaders and get consumers excited about the launch.
Panic, The Experience, is an as-live escape experience where players must track down an original character, Noah Kaplan in a thrilling 60 minute game.
Playing in groups of up to six, the game starts with an email from Noah’s girlfriend, Kelly Grover, with a link to join a video call on the Samuel Maverick High School’s virtual hub. Working as a team, audiences must use their inquisitive skills to log in to StudentZone and follow Noah’s footsteps. As the story unravels, players discover that Noah is part of a mysterious and dangerous game - and not only that…he’s winning.
Always just one frustrating step behind, audiences find themselves hacking into the sheriff’s lead investigation, packed with an exclusive Panic story and, crucially, the final clues to reveal Noah’s location, ending with the Panic trailer playing out in game, and a bespoke email from the judges of Panic for social shares.
The target audience was Prime Video UK identified the growing audience trend for online immersive experiences and virtual escape rooms as one that was authentic to the Panic storyworld. Plus one that aligned with the target audience for Panic (entertainment press and influencers) and 25-34 year old entertainment lovers. Plus offered a new way to entertain audiences at home that was original and newsworthy.
For Panic, The Experience an original game narrative was written, working with the show's
creator, Lauren Oliver, to develop a storyline that would intrigue players to watch the series
and immerse them within the world of the show in a unique way.
The experience was ticketed with staggered start times throughout the evening in UK and USA timezones. Controlled behind the scenes by a team of stage managers, interacting real-time through live chat in ‘StudentZone’, the game content and characters were reactive to the audience.
The event was live for three weeks in May 2021 in the UK and the USA. Mimicking the way that a live ticketed theatre show is launched, an exclusive preview week for UK and USA press led up to the global launch date of the show. To elevate the event-feel, press and KOL’s were gifted drinks sent to their homes along with the ‘first clue’ from the game - a ‘Missing’ person flyer detailing Noah Kaplan’s mysterious disappearance.
The experience was live for consumers to experience from home for two weeks with 200 group tickets available for free from experiencepanic.com, supported by press, ecomms and influencer activity.
Over 1,000 players took part in the experience, generating over 13 days’ worth of gameplay with the first wave of tickets selling out in just 34 minutes, and the experience being replicated in the USA.
At a time when live activations were restricted, Amazon Prime Video UK took the opportunity to innovate how a high profile title can be launched, creating a transmedia storytelling experience for press and consumers to attend from home that delivered PR and social media engagement around the release. Riddled with clue drops, mysterious symbols, extreme challenges and sheriff’s hot on the trail, this interactive escape game was the perfect cultural crossover for Panic, thrilling press and consumers across the UK and USA over three sell-out weeks.
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, Santa monica
2019, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO