Warner Bros. has partnered with Web production studio For Your Imagination to launch an elaborate branded-entertainment campaign for the upcoming release of Watchmen. The push includes a set of specially created crossover story lines for four different online series.
According to FYI co-founder and CEO Paul Kontonis, Warner agency MediaCom has crafted an online campaign for Watchmen — the movie adaptation of a beloved but hardly mainstream graphic-novel — that attempts to generate interest among potential new fans. “We want to go beyond comic-book fans,” said Kontonis.
The work debuted on the comic-themed series Kyle Piccolo — Comic Shop Therapist, a humorous show about a comic store clerk who offers unsolicited advice to patrons. FYI has scripted three original Watchmen-themed episodes, the first of which is titled “3 6 9” — the date of the movie’s release. A Watchmen trailer precedes the episode, which also features visual and spoken references to the film.
The next two Watchmen-infused installments are scheduled to be posted over the next week. Warner and MediaCom have already begun promoting the film and the Webisodes on sites like Starpulse.com and MovieWeb.com.
Targeting noncomics fans, For Your Imagination has weaved references to Kyle Piccolo in three other series from its Axis of Comedy content network, including the viral hit Abigail’s Teen Diary, which stars comedian Hayden Black as a 13-year-old girl who video blogs. During an upcoming episode, Abigail complains about her boyfriend’s interest in the movie, and actually directs users to watch episodes of Kyle Piccolo.
Female-oriented revenge satire The Retributioners and mock Greek philosopher series Phistophicles also contain Watchmen mentions designed to drive viewers to Piccolo.
“The average consumer might not know this show, so we have to take them there,” explained Kontonis. The push is designed to deliver 5 million views in two weeks.