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Cinemax and Campfire Play Head Games to promote "Hunted"

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Cinemax is recruiting agents to join a private intelligence organization, Byzantium Security International, in a new digital and social campaign for its new fall show "Hunted."

Debuting on October 19th, "Hunted" is an action drama from "X-Files" writer and executive producer Frank Spotnitz about an agent from intelligence agency Byzantium Security International who survives an attempt on her life, possibly set up by members of her own team.

The campaign, via Campfire New York, includes a website that gives audience a peek into Byzantium, with a faux-corporate video about the firm. It also features a series of online personality tests and puzzles, an outreach puzzle sent to bloggers and critics, OOH ads on Wall Street, and banner ads on WallStreetJournal.com and MarketWatch.com.

The test and puzzles featured on the www.ByzantiumTests.com website are designed to "make [users] uncertain of themselves," Steve Coulson, creative director of Campfire, told Creativity. "There are five different levels of tests. It's one of those experiences where you can go deeper and deeper across different websites. Just when you think you know what it is, things shift and change."

The first test is a personality test, asking users questions like "When do they laugh at you?" and "Is there a way out?"--often using obscure, cryptic pictures as answer options. Other tests gauge ability to follow directions, multitasking skills and, with the help of facial recognition technology, emotive responses--as well as the ability to control them.

Campfire brought in a magician from The Magic Circle, a London-based magician society, to help create the tests. "This site is as much a magic trick as it is an interactive experience," Mr. Coulson said.

The experience through the site maintains a sense of perplexity, something Chris Spadaccini, SVP of Brand Marketing for HBO/Cinemax, says makes the campaign cohesive with the show's plot. "It's kind of like a big puzzle--the campaign feels like an extension of the series itself," he said. "Being a relatively new player in original programming, we needed a unique campaign. We're positioning hunted as an action packed edge of your seat thriller. "

Mr. Spadaccini says this is a substantial promotion for Cinemax, and the online campaign is the main push. Completion of the tests give users exclusive GetGlue badges and access to exclusive surveillance footage and confidential dossiers on the ByzantiumSecurity.com website.

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