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Work / Parks Unleashed

September 11, 2011

A custom Youtube brand channel, talking dogs, Queen Latifah, and over two hundred Samsung Galaxy Tabs to give away? WTF???? Keep in mind this was all orchestrated and launched for an OTC / Pharma brand… there in lies the true innovation.

Our client was looking for a new way to engage with their audience, as well as to become top of mind with allergy sufferers during the fall allergy season, that may not already be Zyrtec users.  As creative briefs go, this one was actually pretty clear, do something buzz-worthy, that would be picked up by word of mouth, and become a PR story. The idea I had was simple… bring the notion of being free to explore the outside world, inside. Parks Unleashed is a contemporary take on a choose your own adventure book, brought to life on a Youtube Brand Channel.

One of the most innovative aspects of this project was how we as an agency worked. Gone are the days of the traditional Art & Copy teams. This project was conceived by myself, and brought to life by partnering up with a game designer, a user experience director, an interactive producer, a creative technologist, and a copywriter.

The list of “firsts” continued as we began to work alongside teams at Google and Youtube to to develop how the project would come to life. Never before has a level of game-play been seen on Youtube so a tight integration of work-streams was our path to success. From concept to launch the entire process was completed in an astounding two and a half months. For an agency as large as ours, and with a client like McNeil, this is never before seen feat.

All the content was captured during a two day shoot outside of Los Angeles, excluding the additional footage of Queen Latifah, which we shot weeks later here in Brooklyn. The narrative adds up to approximately 45 minutes of story and includes eight to ten mini games developed in Flash that are sprinkled throughout the story, and play off the people you meet along the way.

Our story invites our visitors to explore our park, filled with quirky characters, talking dogs, Queen Latifah, and a series of mini-games that lead them along paths to prizes including; Amazon Gift codes, and over 200 Samsung Galaxy Tabs. The channel launched on September 5th, and within the first 48 hours, Parks Unleashed  received over 1,200,000 channel views, with only two key media buys active. The channel will continue to roll out in stages over the next few weeks, wrapping up early in October. Queen Latifah enters the park in stage three, and upon completion of the entire park, every user gets to create a custom piece of sharable video that can be shared around the web on all social platforms. See what Adweek said about it or the 1,000s of blog postings around it

Final Thought: None of this would have been possible without a truly amazing team effort by all. Many many thanks go out to my team at JWT New York, Google, Youtube, and our production partner HAUS in LA.

2012 Webby Honoree /Ineractive Advertising

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