Viewers of Channel 4 in the U.K. last week saw a freaky promo for a product called" The Azana Band," advertised as "the word's first sensory gaming device" which lets you "feel happiness, fear and pain, without consequence."
Anyone intrigued enough to check it out found it led them to a trailer for a new show called "Kiss Me First," which is about a girl addicted to online gaming.
The film, by 4Creative, led people to Azanaband.com where they discovered that the product, worn around the neck, "brings virtual reality gaming to life." The website has had 346,000 visits to date.
The campaign also included working with gaming influencers Hat Films, who published an "unboxing" video titled *REAL PAIN* in VR! on their channel of almost one million subscribers. Film and gaming entertainment site Den of Geek also published an article about the "mysterious new AzanaBand" revolutionary gaming device whilst promotional AzanaBand posters appeared in London and Manchester.
Alice Tonge, head of 4Creative, says in a statement: "Kiss Me First is a brilliant show with a very unique audience, so to get their attention we needed to do something innovative and different. To create intrigue, excitement and a genuine buzz around the show, we partnered with influencers and launched the AzanaBand as if it were a real-life gaming product."
It's not the first time that Channel 4 has used a fake product promo to create buzz around a sci-fi series; in 2015 a creepy ad and a pop-up store advertising "Persona Synthetics" led people to discover a trailer for its A.I.-themed series "Humans."