Second screen experience makes you wonder: ‘Are You on the Blacklist?’

By Natan Edelsburg 

Next week, James Spader returns to TV as Raymond “Red” Reddington in NBC’s “The Blacklist.” Reddington – on the FBI’s most-wanted list – surrenders, but reveals that he possesses a “blacklist” of dangerous criminals that the FBI doesn’t even know exist. To promote the series, NBC has launched “Are You on the Blacklist?”, a second screen game in which the user learns about Reddington and The Blacklist through a special intro cut with show footage. They see that this criminal network is so pervasive Facebook profiles are providing clues to reveal the next name.

“Are You on the Blacklist?” forces participants to ask themselves who their colleagues and friends are. The experience’s investigator, “Liz,” is enlisted to find out. To clear their names fans connect their Facebook accounts to see if friends have degrees of separation to the blacklist.

It is becoming increasingly common for shows to extend its second-screen presence beyond the confines of its broadcast slot.  According to Jared Goldsmith, VP of Digital Marketing for NBC: “Compelling social television is not limited to the hour or so around the broadcast of the show.  Using creative storytelling combined with great technology “Are You On The Blacklist?” pulls viewers into the thrilling world of ‘The Blacklist’ while incorporating natural social interactions and sharing that gets users to engage with the characters and their friends in a unique and fun way.” 

“Are You on the Blacklist” features a truly unique component: phone-calling technology integrated with the web. The user is able to really interact with the experience and its characters, and bring that interaction to life with the phone call. The information gathered from the call syncs with the user’s computer, and through this information the FBI tries to draw evidence from the user until a video reveals they are clean.  Still, a user’s friends may potentially be linked to the list.