In 2011 Hide&Seek worked with Warner Brothers on an integrated interactive marketing campaign for the UK release of Green Lantern. The campaign immersed existing fans in the world of Green Lantern and reached out to educate potential new fans who didn’t know what a Green Lantern is.

Our interlocking activities – a Flash game, interactive narrative and Facebook activity – reached a million people over the two months leading up to the movie, and got press mentions for the movie in outlets as diverse as the Daily Mirror, Boing Boing and the Washington Post.

The brief was two-pronged: to educate potential new fans – they needed to know what a Green Lantern is – and to reward existing fans for their fandom, and make them feel part of something. Broadly, the first was about reach, the second about depth of engagement, although the ambition for the fan activity was to create moments that could break out beyond passionate fans to the wider world of geek culture.

Our three principles were always to make it accessible, distributed and interconnected.

  • Accessible – multiple entry points to each activity
  • Distributed – putting activity where people already are, rather than expecting them to come to one central site
  • Interconnected – one of the lessons we’ve learned from social games is how important the paths between things are. It’s a place where detailed design thinking can make a huge difference to the success of the campaign.

Wide reach to educate new fans

Reach was provided by the Green Lantern Boot Camp game, with a million plays and 9 min+ dwell time. Players could pit a giant squid against a tank, a steel chair against a vending machine in a strategic fighting game. It was a fun way of introducing key Green Lantern concepts and some of the variety of characters from 50 years of comics backstory.

The game visuals were designed to bridge the look of the comics and the film. Dylan Teague of 2001AD fame did the character art, and did a fantastic job – the different moods of an onion with tentacles isn’t an easy thing to convey but we think he nailed it.

Deep engagement for fans

We made an interactive narrative that let DC fans feel like they were stepping into the universe, and if they talked to it, it would talk back. We worked with veteran comics writer John Ostrander to make a narrative around his character Dr Waller, and gave her an email inbox. 30% of the visitors to her site took the step of mailing her, and blogged and tweeted her replies around the web to the fan community.

The narrative centered around a tie-in with the Milky Way project, getting fans to do real science classifying green rings in the Milky Way that in real life will help astrophysicists discover the origin of stars

Fans classified thousands of images and were rewarded with a piece of binaural audio that trailed the film’s main villain in action.

The mix of bringing real science to space-themed comic and a movie tie-in game with real depth is something we’re really proud of.

Thanks to our collaborators on this project: PlayerThree, The Milky Way Project, Nick Ryan, Chris O’Byrne, Dylan Teague and John Ostrander.