Spooktacular was a Halloween event held in Sentosa island. When we first worked on Sentosa Spooktacular in 2010, it was all about creating an immersive, digital driven campaign that could connect with our young audience – and we did it through creating single and multi-player gaming portals that were integrated with social media. People could play our game, climb the leader board, challenge friends and win tickets/discounts to the main event.
We enjoyed great success and industry recognition for our efforts, but for Spooktacular 2012 we knew the goalposts had changed. New competitors such as Universal Studios Singapore were emerging with Halloween events of their own, so we had to find a way to differentiate Spooktacular and entrench its appeal in the hearts and minds of our target audience.
Our challenge: On a much smaller budget than our competitors, we needed to reposition Sentosa Spooktacular as the scariest and most fun ‘Asian’ Halloween event. To do so, we needed to dream up a new way to engage and activate our young target audience via digital channels. Whilst gaming may have served us well in the past, it was time to push the envelope and create something no one had seen before.
Key goal: Activate our audience in the lead up to the event. Through activation, we hoped to inspire trial of our product, and stimulate brand advocacy through showcasing this event as the scariest and most fun place to visit with friends for Halloween.
It is only when we inspire trial and advocacy that we can hope to instil brand loyalty.
Leveraging on the addition of Fort Siloso to the event that year – and its surrounding myth of paranormal activity dating back to World War 2 – we began by creating a short video that was filmed in a homemade style. It followed the ill-fated adventure of a group of teens who broke into the tunnels in Fort Siloso at night. Eerie goings-on, strange sounds and inexplicable events ensue. Our video culminated with a ghoulish hand picking up a victim’s fallen mobile phone. As our viewer watched the mobile being picked up, their actual mobile number would appear on the screen as the whole web page transformed into a surreal ghost haunting experience. Ghosts start breaking through from the ‘other side’ and a message written in blood appeared urging our viewer to pick up his phone!
Just when you thought it couldn’t get scarier, the viewer’s mobile would suddenly ring, and when picked up an eerie voice would dare him to ‘come play’ at Spooktacular.
Having adapted this new mobile technology to create our campaign, we then tailored it so that victims of our prank call could in turn share the experience by forwarding to friends. By connecting to Facebook, our audience could select their victims from their Facebook friends list, enter each friend’s mobile number, include a personalised message and post the link on their friend’s wall.
When the link was picked up and clicked, the new victim would be directed to our spoof website, aptly named “realscaryvideo.com”, where he would encounter our video and experience the fright of his life.
Only once our prank call had taken place would we reveal Sentosa Spooktacular – inviting those pranked to join us at Singapore’s scariest and most fun Halloween event. And of course, we enabled them to continue spreading the fear via social media – because after all, we all enjoy pranking our friends!