Cinemax Appeals to the 1 Percent in Labyrinthine Ads for ‘Hunted’

Wall Street targeted by spy drama

I'm a sucker for a good ARG, even if it is just an ad for a show I'll never watch. So, I'm intrigued by what Campfire and Jam3 put together for Hunted, a new Cinemax drama revolving around the ominous-sounding Byzantium Security International. Not only do the fictional company's name and image bait the Occupy movement (out-of-home ads were placed on and around Wall Street, and banners on, to really rub that in), but the game they direct people to, at, is a five-part job application that's appropriately byzantine. Campfire worked with a cognitive psychologist on the tests, which combine Facebook integration, emotion recognition technology, logic and spatial puzzles, personality tests and subliminal commands. The agency even hired a magician from The Magic Circle, a London-based magician society, to further trick out the site. (For outreach, Campfire sent writers and bloggers a wooden puzzle, in the shape of the Byzantium Security logo, that was a challenge to unlock—with a flash drive inside containing media materials.) When done well, ARG campaigns can promote, set the tone for, and generate a keener understanding of the product before the audience really interacts with it, and I feel like the Hunted campaign gets this. And if worst comes to worst and the show sucks, at least we got something good out of the whole thing. Credits below. David Kiefaber is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak.