TV static

We engaged people by kicking them off a website

Director Sam Esmail ("Mr. Robot") has a following of eagle-eyed fans who love a good conspiracy. So his website is the hub for easter eggs, ARGs, and experiences that indicate anachronism, misdirection, and subtle manipulation. With a set of 24 time-zone based test cards, we took the site "off the air" at a set time every night, creating a sign-off message and a movie loaded with covert, Esmail-themed easter eggs that his users ate up.

Still shot from the propaganda video of a fish at the podium
Still shot from the propaganda video of an eagle burning a fish flag
Still shot from the propaganda video of a fish being escorted to safety
Still shot from the propaganda video of an eagle holding a fish head

We considered what motivates the audience, drawing "Mr. Robot" fans into ARG experiences beyond the show—and then we began to tease Esmail's other projects. By indicating that upcoming shows would be as complex and multilayered, we harnassed the attention of devout "Mr. Robot" fans, while diverting it to the next thing.

Original Sin test card

We took away control to pique curiosity, being purposefully obscure so fans could come up with their own theories and connections.

Rainbow Eye test card
Tech Repair test card
Donald Grouper test card
Lip Service test card

"Thank you for the amazing video /u/SamEsmail. This was a great puzzle!"