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HBO promotes Westworld through app that really knows you

HBO promotes Westworld through app that really knows you

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Ahead of the launch of sci-fi drama Westworld, HBO has launched a social monitoring web application Conceptualised and created by Goodstuph, the app is centred around data privacy, which is also a hint at the season’s premise. 

According to HBO, the was created to allow users to “Find Your Path” with an Instagram username, and discover how much data one can collect from the public domain easily. The social monitoring’s app algorithm uses publicly accessible Instagram data such as location, captions, and followers to “Chart your Path”, showing users just how accurately Incite, a data company of the future in Westworld, knows them and in turn giving them eerily actionable life advice. 

According to Goodstuph, the objective of this campaign is to engage with existing Westworld fans in a language unique to the show and reigniting interest leading towards the premiere. In addition, the campaign was developed broad enough to cater to the curiosity of first-time Westworld viewers and will be available in the Southeast Asia region. 

A quick check by Marketing saw that users will be prompted to yes/no questions such as "your decisions map your destiny", "have you ever made a decision you now regret?", and then proceeds on to say "let us use your data to chart your path". 

hbo westworld1

The web application went live on 23 February and was promoted by top influencers from Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. This includes Indonesian director Chandra Liow, along with YouTuber from Manila Chris Cantada, and actors Bobby Tonelli and Nikki Muller. 

Since then, HBO said that there has been an overwhelming response from fans across the region, having been used 16,000 times per minute at one point. Instagram comments and sub-reddits have also scrutinised the app, with predictions and fan theories as to what each element of the site means in relation to the upcoming season. 

The trailer for Westworld season three dropped in June 2018, which caught the attention of several netizens for featuring the Singapore skyline. Featuring the Maybank tower, and landmarks UOB and HSBC buildings, many were thrilled for the sci-fi series to roll out. Many netizens also lauded the move in shooting against the Singapore skyline background, given the show is set in a futuristic and technologically advanced world. 

Marianne Lee, interim marketing head of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in Southeast Asa, the company that owns and operates HBO, said Westworld has presented the company with a great opportunity to take storytelling to the next level. 

“We were exploring how to captivate our audiences while subtly reminding them how much information they might leave on the Internet and the importance of data privacy. And with the help of Goodstuph, we were able to conceptualise how the future seen in Season 3 might already be a reality in the modern day. We just might not know its impact yet,” she added.

Pat Law will be speaking at Marketing's inaugural MADex 2020 conference in 21 May 2020 about her journey of running her own agency and the importance of mental health. 

Meanwhile, Pat Law, CEO of Goodstuph said broadly speaking in some Asian cultures where collectivism is preferred over individualism, data privacy may not appear as important when it comes to the data that is shared with social media providers. “But what if your social media provider was human? Would the data he or she have become creepier to you? That’s the experience we aim to deliver,” she added. 

Creative lead: Pat Law
Creative team: Mark Ong, Melissa Ho, Kelly Koo 
Accounts servicing: Sean Lee, Cheryl Tham
Tech Lead: Soham Adwani 

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