More articles by Kiran Aditham
Deep Focus Turns ‘Entourage’ Campaign into a Popularity Contest
In just two seasons, HBO’s “Entourage” has given its audience an unfiltered, hilarious insider’s view of young Hollywood. As a result, any fan of this increasingly popular series would likely drop their daily routines in a hot second to roll with blossoming movie star Vincent Chase and his hangers-on.
Thankfully, those of us suffering withdrawal as a result of “Entourage’s” yearlong hiatus (including yours truly) will be glad to know the boys are back on June 11th for an all-new season. And just like last year, HBO has tapped New York-based interactive agency Deep Focus to design and execute the entire online campaign to whet our appetites.
But while rollover video campaigns and the sort constituted season 2′s online push, Deep Focus is going multi-dimensional for season 3 with a marketing blitz, launched just this week, that also co-opts the social networking and gaming worlds. “HBO challenged us to put together a campaign that really took not only the series to the next level, but also the aspects of online marketing that we wanted involved to the next level,” Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer tells ADOTAS. “They gave us unprecedented access to talent. With all that ammunition at our disposal, we pretty much kicked ass on developing what amounts to a three-pronged campaign for them.”
The first “prong” is essentially comprised of a takeover/contest on MySpace (above), arguably the most fertile soil to sell “Entourage” to both current and potential viewers. “We essentially created a layer on top of MySpace called MyEntourage,” Schafer explains. “Basically, what we do is encourage people to form groups on MySpace of best friends, your entourage. Then, you borrow the skills of the guys in the cast: network, publicize, schmooze, harass, out-pretty every other group in order to get the most friends. So basically, we’re exposing MySpace for what some people feel it is, a popularity contest, and [creating incentives for] it.” Besides the ego boost, the incentives Schafer mentions aren’t too shabby either. “We’re giving away Chryslers to each member of the winning entourage, we’re giving away free trips to LA, cell phones, Xbox 360s, DVDs,” he says. It’s a pretty great prize package.”
So far, so good on the MySpace front. The MyEntourage profile has already nabbed 17,000 friends, and Schafer notes that while the sweepstakes is short-term, the MySpace site itself and Entourage will run continually through the show’s lifetime.
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