If you’re in NYC on Thursday, March 3 and you happen to see a man in an orange prison jumpsuit, don’t call 911. Just dial up the Breakout Kings app on your iPhone and you could win a prize.
A&E is going all out with an augmented reality promo for their new prison break / conman series and I fear it will be the Mafia Wars incident all over again.
Though I’m sure the actors playing prisoners on the loose will be clearly marked with a Breakout Kings logo, certainly their presence in the city will cause some confusion and spark a few calls to the cops. Right? A&E is ready to take that chance maybe because even if they end up paying a fine to the city, it’ll only help them make bigger headlines.
A&E has also placed 200 orange jumpsuits, sans bodies in locations all over the US, setting them up in store windows, bolting them to bus benches and positioning them inside bars and restaurants. All of the parts of the plan are hooked together via the Catch-A-Con-Sweepstakes app which tests your ability to find both virtual escapees and the psuedo-real ones.
The entire concept is run by a company called GoldRun who specializes in these mobile treasure hunts. They’ve done several for Esquire magazine where folks were asked to snap photos of letters posted around town but this sounds like a massive undertaking compared to their prior campaigns.
The downside to augmented reality campaigns such as thesen is that even with a large budget, they can only be done in a limited number of cities. Breakout Kings is confined to high traffic areas in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia. But if buzz is what your after, the sheer novelty of it is enough to get people talking, even if they don’t have a real live escaped convict in their city.
What do you think? Brilliant idea or is A&E likely to be sending out apologies after a citizen gets a little too enthusiastic about playing Dog, the Bounty Hunter?