This successful campaign harnessed recent advances in robotic technology to create the world’s first humanoid brand ambassador.
To publicise the second season of Westworld – the HBO series airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and is available to stream via NOW TV – Fred, a humanoid host similar to those in the sci-fi show, was designed and created to interact and converse with humans in real-time.
Fred was installed in a pub, with cameras set up to capture reactions as he engaged people in conversation about Westworld and topics such as the impending humanoid robot invasion. A hidden-camera video focused on those reactions, intercut with behind-the-scenes footage and a Season Two trailer.
Further interest was generated via a news story predicting the year in which robots will outnumber humans, while images of Fred were drip-fed on social media with support from key Westworld cast members.
The campaign generated more than 200 pieces of coverage worldwide, in outlets including BBC Click, Time, Vice, Mashable, the Daily Mail and The Mirror.
Crucially, NOW TV recorded a 13 per cent increase in viewers streaming the Westworld Season Two premiere from Season One – making this one of the most successful launches for a returning show in the service’s history.
"Little bit afraid of Fred, but great campaign"
HBO's Westworld is a futuristic series set in the 2050s that revolves around the rise of artificially intelligent beings. NOW TV were looking for a disruptive campaign for the second series that would drive fame and attract viewers. The campaign creative needed to transcend traditional marketing routes and communicate the central conceit of the show in a way that would prove newsworthy and engaging with NOW TV's key target audience of TV viewers aged 25-55. The campaign smashed all key targets, sparking global news coverage and delivering some of the highest season 2 premiere viewing figures in NOW TV history.