Read this or your boss gets whacked

Read this or your boss gets whacked

Gangsters have kidnapped your boss, serial killers are flaming your inbox and you still haven’t figured out who kidnapped your coworker. It’s just another day at Astral Television Networks, where staff are treated to some elaborate marketing stunts.

‘When we’re thinking about getting our messages out, we always consider how we’re going to engage our own employees,’ says Russell Ward, Toronto-based consumer marketing director for Astral Television Networks.

Recent stunts included an office whodunit – complete with bloody murder scene – that coincided with the season two premiere of Showtime’s Dexter on The Movie Network. Participants followed a series of clues including a tape-recorded message, hidden text revealed by special lighting and clues hidden at specific coordinates, culminating in a presentation where the killer was revealed, prizes were awarded and information about the series was communicated to amused staff. Out of the TV division’s approximately 150 staff, 40 became Facebook friends with the fictional serial killer.

‘This all started with a basic need to share information…and doing presentations for the company, which can become very boring,’ explains Ward. ‘So we capitalized on the opportunity to get people involved.’
More events are planned, including a secret agent theme around Mpix’s ultimate James Bond movie event and an all-out blitz of free meals and other goodies for employees to support The Movie Network’s Free Preview weekend. That whooshing sound you hear is the noise of hundreds of CVs that were just sent from strategy readers to Astral.