Showcase creates digi mystery

The channel is using Facebook intel to create personalized online adventures that see participants rescue a kidnapped friend.

If you want someone to watch TV these days, one strategy is to hook them online via Facebook. Using a 20-second online trailer, Showcase lured viewers into a crime-solving game as part of an experiential digital promotion for its new hour-long drama series, Endgame, which premiered March 14.
Since the show features a chess master named Arkady Balagan who solves mysteries, would-be detectives were invited to Showcase.ca/endgame to help Balagan solve a personally customized case that sees them rescue a friend from a kidnapper. The thing that makes it unique and compelling is that the game uses information drawn from the user’s Facebook account, including pics and personal intel. The site, developed in collaboration with Secret Location in Toronto and Thunderbird Films in Vancouver, also offers behind-the-scenes footage, mini-games and full episodes.  
To further entice viewers in Toronto, Showcase set up eight-foot-tall black and white king chess pieces in the city’s downtown core that appeared as if they’d been murdered – one hanging from a noose, another stabbed.
The outdoor stunts began in March as part of a four-week campaign conceived and executed by the in-house teams at Shaw Media, Showcase’s parent company. The media buy included “Solving Crime is a Game of Strategy” TSAs, expandable floating ads on MSN.ca and AOL.ca, ads in the Toronto Star and Metro Toronto, and an on-air promo on Showcase, Global and Shaw’s specialty channels in mid-February. Showcase.ca/endgame is being promoted via lower-third tags during broadcasts, as well an on-air promo.