American Sci Fi channel SyFy worked with Fallon New York to promote their premiere of Alice at the end of 2009 with a range of online and ambient advertising stunts, focused on the “White Rabbit Experience”. Directed by Nick Willing, Alice features Caterina Scorsone as Alice, Kathy Bates as the Queen of Hearts, Andrew Lee Potts as The Hatter, and Tim Curry as The Dodo. The central character in the advertising campaign was the rabbit, a dark-suited assassin hired by the Queen of Hearts, played in the mini-series by Alan Gray.
The experience started on the Web November 30, the week before the premiere. Twitter users were urged to Follow the White Rabbit @WhiteRabbitinc―a specially created Twitter account that provides updates throughout the week as the White Rabbit pursued Alice and the Hatter.
On December 4 online banners featuring the White Rabbit started to cause mischief on popular web sites, such as USAToday.com and YouTube, urging users to follow the White Rabbit by clicking on the ad unit. The rabbit leapt across homepages and interacted with content, including White Rabbit Inc, Wonderland Teashop, the Happy Hearts Casino and finally syfy.com/alice.
Next up came out-of home projections in Manhattan prior to 50 members of White Rabbit Inc, complete with suits and large porcelain rabbit heads, marching through Union Square.
The week-long campaign for the show, which broadcast over two nights in December, helped Alice to become the most-watched Sunday night show on Syfy since 2007, attracting over 2.5 million viewers.
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The experience culminated in New York on Friday, December 4, as 50 White Rabbits hunted across the city for Alice and the Hatter, handing out Alice playing cards displaying their faces and containing the text, “Have you seen this pair?” At 12:30 PM, White Rabbits converged on Union Square to finally meet Alice and the Hatter and perform a choreographed “step” dance routine.
Syfy (pronounced /ˈsaɪˌfaɪ/; the same way as sci-fi), formerly known as the Sci Fi Channel, is an American cable television channel that specializes in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBC Universal. The name Syfy was officially adopted on July 7, 2009.
The White Rabbit Experience was developed at Fallon, Minneapolis by chief creative officer Darren Spiller, art director/copywriter Marques Gartrell, art director/copywriter Aaron Seymour-Anderson, creative tech Kla Haeck, director of digital insight Aki Spicer, director of digital innovation Marty Wetherall, producer Matthew Polski, producer Kirsten O’Callaghan, media planners Amber Paukner, Andrea Brazelton, Brian Olsen, with production companies Klip Collective and Target Marketing.