Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The White Rabbit Campaign

Agency: Fallon Worldwide
Client: Syfy

Cable network Syfy wanted to solidify its position and give its ratings one last boost before year-end. It chose to focus on Alice, a modern-day remake of the classic Alice in Wonderland

Research showed that the white rabbit was the first thing people recalled from the classic. In the Syfy version, the white rabbit was a dark-suited assassin with the head of a giant white rabbit, hired by the Queen of Hearts. They made the updated rabbit the focus of the campaign and invited the audience to “follow the white rabbit” on a multi-media adventure both online and off. 

The network placed rich media banners on prominent websites, from which the white rabbit jumped out of the banners, ran across the page and down a digital rabbit hole in search of Alice, where users were beckoned to follow. A trail of faux microsites, each teasing prominent elements and characters directly from the movie, led participants to the Alice page at Syfy.com. The audience broadcasted their experiences to their peers, uploading hundreds of videos, photos, and tweets, multiplying the message, as well as adding their personal anecdotes.

The white rabbit was also taken off the web and onto the streets of New York in night-time video projections that showed him climbing, running and jumping across historic building façades such as the Fashion Institute of Technology, The Maritime Hotel and the former Union Square Virgin Megastore.

The Friday before the premiere, 50 street team members dressed as the updated rabbit invaded the streets of New York. Hundreds of tweets, photos, and videos were posted by people who ran into one of them. Twitter, OOH and on-air plugs drove interested consumers to http://twitter.com/whiterabbitinc to participate in chatter and buzz.

In the end, the Alice premiere beat ratings expectations and historical benchmarks in key demos and markets. It became the highest rated and most watched Sunday night on Syfy since 2007, with a total of 3 million viewers. Over 650,000 visits were made to the faux microsites, with 1.4 million clicks through to syfy.com.