A&E Network is turning criminal to capture buzz and hopefully viewers for its original scripted drama, Breakout Kings.
From Fox's Prison Break's writers/producers Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, Breakout Kings, bowing March 6 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), is an action ensemble centering on an unusual partnership between the U.S. Marshal's office and a group of convicts that work to corral fugitives on the run.
The original series is being promoted in part by a "Captured" campaign that will take place in the real and virtual worlds. As the first TV network to partner with augmented reality application GoldRun, A&E is staging a scavenger hunt wherein consumers can track down and "capture" virtual convicts, sporting orange prison jumpsuits.
Directed via clues revealed in blogs, the show's Facebook page and at http://www.aetv.com/breakout-kings/catch-a-con/, scavenger-hunting lawmen will find their way to predetermined locales where they can use the viewfinders on the cameras of their iPhones and the free GoldRun App to spot and capture the "augmented reality escapees on the run," according to A&E senior vice president of marketing Guy Slattery.
These felons will be at-large in high-traffic pedestrian areas in Los Angeles (Hollywood and Highland), Chicago (Magnificent Mile), Philadelphia (Rittenhouse Row), San Francisco and New York (Times and Union Squares).
In addition to escapees from the series, one of the elusive virtual quarry will be a familiar one: an image of Robert Knepper, the actor who played Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell on Prison Break, whose character will appear in one installment of Breakout Kings.
"We want to surprise people, capture their attention, and create awareness for the show," said Slattery. "That ultimately will translate into eyeballs for the network."
Each day, A&E will post the GoldRun pictures of the apprehended taken by users on the Breakout Kings'Facebook page. There, consumers can enter their email address for a chance to win cash prizes -- between $500 - $2500 -- from March 3 through 31 and can view the show's trailer.
Slattery believes the promotion will entice consumers to the show's debut and beyond.
"We can talk on Breakout Kings' Facebook page, start an ongoing dialog and get people engaged in the show, he said. "People always like the idea of cash, but they also like to see their photos posted online on a network's site. By running this throughout March, we will keep them engaged post premiere week."
Moreover in Manhattan, A&E will affix some 200 of the prison unis to bus benches, fences, wild-posting walls, bathrooms in bars and restaurants, plus store windows and inside such retailers as Kenneth Cole, Brooklyn Industries and O.M.G.
A&E, via Civic Entertainment, is also training 10 street team "convicts," who will "be on the run" in NYC, serving as human billboards by visiting high-traffic locations and tourist destinations.
The "real" and virtual convicts are part of a 360-degree campaign that includes on-air and online promos across AETN's portfolio, local and network TV buys, a radio schedule, cinema ads, billboards and other outdoor media in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"The campaign is getting louder and louder," said Slattery.
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