Record-breaking website traffic in an interactive campaign for Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.
The combined tourist board of Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia needed a new, exciting campaign promoting driving holidays across the three states. We combined key tourist locations with the states’ history of spies and secret agents – turning scenic byways into Scenic Spyways.
Working in collaboration with KBC PR, we produced a highly-interactive campaign that engaged users in a virtual tour of the region’s main attractions by involving them first-hand in an authentic online ‘spy hunt’ experience. The game transported the user into a dynamic story-world of a secret agent searching for a spy hiding somewhere in the region. Following a number of tasks and puzzles, the player would guess the spy’s location for a chance to win a 6-day holiday to the region.
Researching the region and finding the facts
Following a comprehensive search, we picked out key elements and locations which would allow us to transform a simple tour of attractions into an authentic and edgy spy narrative. We looked for real spy stories and historical facts, which we interwove into the game to produce a range of engaging and credible content.
Designing an interface
Aiming to engage a younger audience, we designed a device-friendly interface that was clear and easy to navigate, giving it a real ‘007’ feel.
We incorporated a variety of high-quality animations, video screen shots and travelogues to immerse the player in a realistic spy hunt experience, perfectly optimised for computer, tablet and mobile screens.
We implemented guidance strategies as part of the game’s progressive storyline. These gave the player a clear idea of their progress, and encouraged them to continue their quest through other social media sites and profiles.
The player was kept in ongoing conversation with their headquarters - and with the support and clues from lovely Miss Penny Cent, the user felt like the protagonist of a real spy novel.
Engaging and adaptable story
We generated a fun and engaging script that changed depending on the player’s responses and actions. It moved the story along by posing new obstacles and challenges to overcome in the player’s virtual search for the elusive spy.
A series of interactive puzzles balanced the elements of fun gameplay with problem-solving tasks. In one of the challenges, the user would have to travel between fabricated social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr blogs) to find images of the hiding suspect, which they would then use to eventually narrow down his secret location.
Creating content and clues to help players crack the code, while helping to promote the region
Clues hidden in various places around the web related directly to the different attractions on the region’s interactive map. The player was continually encouraged to travel to and explore numerous different locations to see what they had to offer (the perks of being the nation’s top secret agent). This proved to be an immensely successful strategy for driving additional traffic to the website, as well as promoting attractions supported by the tourist board.
Targeted Facebook advertising campaign
To further promote the campaign, we designed a number of Facebook ads. In addition to targeting and engaging new users via Facebook we also designed and built a set of emails that Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia sent to their existing client database. This helped us generate effective and record-breaking traffic for the client’s website.
The result? The most successful online campaign the client had undertaken.
The Secret Spyways interactive online campaign achieved tremendous success, engaging over 10,000 players in the competition.