Here’s an uncommon way to immerse a brand: USA Network has unveiled “White Collar: Chasing the Shadow” (http://chasingtheshadow.usanetwork.com), an interactive game that allows fans to take their love of the USA drama, White Collar, to new levels of online interaction. White Collar, which follows a con artist and FBI agent who team to catch the bad guys, now gains an online story extension through Chasing the Shadow, which was developed in conjunction with show creator Jeff Eastin.
Specifically, the game gives fans the chance to be a part of the crime-solving team through seven levels of cat and mouse situations, clue deciphering and tests of detective skills. Armed with various crime solving tools, including the 2010 Ford Taurus Limited (with actual car features utilized in the game) players are in hot-pursuit of notorious villain, The White Shadow and the ultimate chance to win a Ford Taurus Limited. The game comprises a series of challenges that expand in skill, mental dexterity and ability to analyze clues week-over-week, making it critical for players to pay attention to recaps throughout to successfully capture The White Shadow. The game ultimately makes players responsible for assisting Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), the two main characters of White Collar, in solving a case that has gone on for many years and perplexed even the most seasoned FBI agents.
The on-air uses of actual Ford Taurus features come to life through the gaming experience, becoming an integral part of the players ability to solve each caper, from using in-vehicle voice-activated communications system Ford SYNC to access SMS messages to the Multi-Contour massaging seat feature allowing players to realize something is amiss, the game immerses players in the world of virtual crime-solving. The campaign surrounding the game and Taurus integration will be supported by on-air advertising, rich media online content, search optimization components and weekly updates to fan groups on popular social media networks, to ensure players’ have all the advantages.
“With the launch of the new Taurus, we were looking for marketing opportunities that could help us showcase Taurus’s innovative features and engage new consumers to drive one,” said Jeff Egen, Ford car experiential marketing manager. “Teaming up with USA and their hit program, White Collar provided both the creative product integration and deeper online consumer experience that we wanted.”
“USA is constantly developing new online components to support original on-air programming, allowing our fans to continue to interact with their favorite characters in an active, engaging way,” said Jesse Redniss, USA’s VP/digital. “Working with Ford on White Collar: Chasing the Shadow has allowed us to tap into a brand whose message resonates with the characters and ultimately the viewership, while incorporating innovative feature’s from the Ford Taurus to become part of the players’ experience.”