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Shortland Street Clue Hunt

Shortland Street was taking its annual Christmas hiatus and I wanted to get the nation talking about which character would meet their end after a deadly bomb blast.

In addition to a mysterious promo spot, we concocted a trans-media clue hunt based around the deadly cliffhanger to give fans their daily fix until the show returned.

Every day for 34 consecutive days via a bespoke mini-site, fans were fed a clue online that teased the fall-out of events following the explosion in the season finale and fans were asked to speculate who had died.

Clues ranged from news reports of the event, text messages between characters, videos, anagrams, hidden codes, voice calls, emails and police evidence.

The viewers who followed the clues were given crucial information about the show before it returned to TV screens and got the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime Shorty experience on set.

And it paid off - the mini-site had 3 million page views, and the clues reached 6.8 million people through social media. More importantly, the storyline became a national obsession, and the return episode was the highest rating premiere in over a decade with a 53.5% audience share.

This campaign won Gold for Best Campaign, Integrated Campaign and Entertainment promo at PromaxBDA NZ; Gold for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign at PromaxBDA Australia; and Gold for Best Interactive Application at the Promax Global Excellence Awards in NYC.


Chris Hooper

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