Selected Projects: Entertainment
I love delving into the universes of television, films, games and books to find new and exciting ways to reach audiences in new ways. We created scented candles from fictional planets for the SyFy Network. I’ve pitched Alternate Reality Games for Call of Duty Modern Warfare II at BBDO and the second season of HBO’s True Detective at 360i that mixed real-life artifacts and digital platforms to draw an audience into the stories before the properties launched. For Watch Dogs 2, we proposed a pre-Cambridge Analytica campaign at 360i where fictional white hat hackers DedSec would use real ad tracking and social API’s to show just how much of a user’s personal data is being tracked, and then mixing it with game footage. For National Geographic, we created a chatbot that let viewers talk to Einstein and gave a voice to scientists protesting the Trump administration’s war on truth. And for my hometown film festival, we told a brutally cautionary tale about the power of creativity. Below are a few examples of some of the entertainment projects I’ve done:
National Geographic Genius: Introducing a new audience to the man behind the mind.
Genius, the biographical series about the life of Albert Einstein, marked a new era for National Geographic channel. We know about Einstein the scientist, but the show introduced us to Albert the man.
The campaign generated over 700MM impressions, and over 60% of the show's audience was new to the National Geographic Channel. We helped National Geographic Channel inspire a new interest in science at a time when it matters most.
For more, see the full campaign page here.
We launched with a conversational chatbot on Facebook Messenger so fans could talk to Albert the scientist, the lover and the rebel. We used machine learning technology to infer a users intention and respond with a series of scripted responses with plenty of hidden surprises--often in GIF form. Every week the bot would re-engage with fans, setting up what was going to happen in the next episode—doubling Facebook's benchmarks for chatbot user engagement.
Three days before the premiere, thousands of scientists and supporters marched on Washington, and Genius was there. We brought shelter, electricity and WiFi to help them recharge and amplify their own rebellious messages. Over a third of March For Science attendees engaged with the show.
Three days before the premiere, thousands of scientists and supporters marched on Washington to protest the Trump administrations attack on science, and Genius was there. We brought shelter from the rain, electricity and WiFi to help them recharge and amplify their own rebellious messages. Over a third of March For Science attendees engaged with the show, and over 9.5MM impressions were generated from the march alone.
HBO NOW: Helping millennials get HBO NOW by asking for a #68CentsADay raise.
For the launch of HBO NOW, we created a social campaign based around a simple premise: $15/month was a lot to pay for the premium streaming service. So instead of asking cash-strapped millennials to pay, we helped them get a raise or otherwise save the #68CentsADay.
Alex Shulhafer, Michael Nuzzo and I created the original concept. Lena Dunham wrote and directed the launch film, garnering 981,000 views and 28,400 social interactions. We surprised the best suggestions on Twitter with new AppleTVs loaded with a 6-month subscription.
Newport Beach Film Festival: A twisted take on the power of ideas.
The theme for the 20th Anniversary of the Newport Beach Film Festival is “The Power of Ideas.” Since this is a festival trailer, we approached this from a different direction by telling a story about a boy who escapes into his imagination, only to discover the unexpected power of his ideas.
The key art for the festival, inspired by the film, was actually banned on Irvine Company properties for being too disturbing. See the full campaign here.
PBS How We Got To Now: Celebrating the forgotten pioneers that created modern life.
The PBS series “How We Got To Now”, based on the book by Stephen Johnson, highlighted the unsung pioneers who’s breakthroughs formed our idea of modern life. For the launch promos, we highlighted the drama they faced in overcoming their well-heeled naysayers. The Warner Brothers didn’t think anyone wanted to hear actors talk, legendary physicist Lord Kelvin was adamant that flight was impossible and Ken Olsen, founder Digital Equipment Corporation thought that no one would ever want a personal computer.
PBS x The Economist: Uncovering the stories behind the story.
The Economist Film Project was a collaboration between The Economist and PBS News Hour to showcase independent documentary films from around the world. We created a custom film viewer that unlocked Economist stories related to topics covered in the film as it played. When the user clicked on a story, the film paused and the article was loaded in a new tab. When the user finished, they could go back to the film.
More detail here.