THE 39 CLUES

[ Digital | Experiential ]

MULTI-PLATFORM CAMPAIGN - DIGITAL/PRINT
CLIENT:  The 39 Clues - Scholastic
AGENCY:  Optimistico

The above was an identity created to build excitement for, and announce, the final installment of The 39 Clues series. This identity was used across both print and digital mediums to support the completion of the franchise.
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A little background...
As one of Scholastic Publishing’s crown jewels of book series and engagement pieces, The 39 Clues was an important product to be involved in. As a book, trading card, online game series, The 39 Clues had a strong following of devoted readers/participants who were deeply involved in the story and life of the series as it unfolded.

Our task was to create buzz and excitement for the release of the final installment of the series and culmination of the online component. In sticking with the plot of the story and staying true to the readers, we focused our approach on the final moments of the adventure and finding out the truth about the main characters and readers have been working to find. We achieved this by unrolling a multi-platform and multi-staged plan. We started with teaser print and online ads. We then created an online game where readers would team up and complete challenges and the winners would be flown to New York to complete in a Gauntlet on live TV.

The path to that final Gauntlet moment was sprinkled with live author book signings, as well as additional tools and merchandise for enhancing the gaming experience. We added some drama by creating a tangent storyline, which broke through the third wall. We had one of the Authors discuss possessing a secret case that contained the final clues and the only copy of the completed Book 10. At his book signing the case was stolen on a live webcast. In the weeks that followed webcasts were broadcast and sent to participants where clues to the contents and whereabouts of the case were given. This additional storyline created social media activity and increased online participation in the online “Hunt”, which equated to book and cards sales – ultimately more engaged readers.
It was an expansive, involved campaign and experience that we presented and orchestrated for an amazing Scholastic product.  Below are some examples of those elements.
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Here are some components of the interactive online experience. We were tasked with promoting the release of the final book as well as a live webcast where all of the authors of the series would be talking about the story and answering reader questions. We accomplished this by creating the content above for the existing The 39 Clues site as well as a downloadable countdown app and supporting banner ads for other relative online locations.
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Here is an example of the online component created to retain involvement online at the end of the card element of the game. At this point, readers have received all of the Card clues and have no real need to engage with the initial online component. To avoid the loss in participation, we created a new online challenge called, "The Journey to the Top". This served as a bridge to keep readers engaged until the release of the final book and awarding of the challenge winners. 
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We also created another level of engagement by inventing another storyline in sync with the story and flow of the game and final challenge at the end of the series. We broadcast a live webcast of one of the authors of Book 10 signing copies at a local book store and answering questions. At the event a special case containing the final book and challenge secrets was stolen. This moment created more social chatter for the challenge and book release. We in turn broadcasted several update webcasts to keep people engaged and excited for the release of Book 10. These updates consisted of clues and information about the search for the case and it's contents, as well as information vital to the series.
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This is the online engagement element we created, "The Journey to the Top". There was a Grand Prize for this competition of $10,000, as well as other great consolation prizes. As part of the challenge, each participant would start by taking a quiz to find out which super family they belonged to, then they become part of a global team/family where their completion of games and challenges would result in points for their teams. Players could track their performance against fellow teammates and competitors around the world and engage with each other over the products and ultimately stay connected and invested in the story. The game consisted of touch points where clues would be given and past knowledge would be tested to keep things interested and on track with the final challenge.

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