Brand Activation: ARG
The universe Stephen King has created is a weird and often times a terrifying place. Sometimes rooted in mystery. That was the case for the new Hulu Original series, Castle Rock. Just before the series premiere we gave fans clues to unlock the mysteries - starting with Shawshank Prison.
So who is “The Kid” stuck in Shawshank that is calling Henry Deaver? What clues could we piece together from teaser, trailers and social posts to start to weaver the world of Castle Rock together for fans? That is where we started with the ARG to create cryptic clips and collect calls from “The Kid” from Shawshank to drops clues and hints to those participating in the ARG.
Exploring Castle Rock
We tried to bring Castle Rock to fans through narrative storytelling and marking key locations in San Diego that correlated with locations in the show. Petco Park was Shawshank. The Children’s Park was Castle Rock woods. The cryptic clips and phone calls would lead fans to one of these locations where they would have to find hidden rocks and use a combination code to unlock a faux book with a Castle Rock cover.
Inside the rocks and faux Castle Rock book were “Cujo Coins” that could be redeemed for a Comic-Con Collector’s Case. Inside the case participants would recieve a “Cujo Coin” for them to keep, Shawshank Prison bumper sticker that is seen on the Warden’s car as it is sinking and a Comic-Con exclusive 10-card set featuring quotes and characters from the trailers.
To spread the word we created missing posters for Henry Deaver with a phone number they could call to get more information about the ARG. Two weeks before the convention we started tweeting out phone calls from “The Kid” and cryptic images on our Twitter account @CastleRockHunt using #CastleRockHunt and #CastleRock. Fans started to take notice and the excitment began to build. WelcomeToCastleRock.com become a hub on how to play the game. It provide instructions, a map of the locations and additional things to interact with like snapchat fliters, the official trailer along with a CTA to sign up for a free trial of Hulu before the series premiere.