APTN’s Animism gets AR treatment at Fan Expo

The broadcaster promotes its sci-fi show with an AR and OOH campaign targeting comic book fans.

If there was ever a venue where augmented reality was an ideal marketing medium, Toronto’s Fan Expo comic book convention would be it.

Looking to capture the imaginations of Fan Expo attendees, Aboriginal TV network APTN used the tech to promote the premiere of its sci-fi show, Animism: The God’s Lake at this weekend’s sold-out event.

Ten different Animism posters featuring AR glyphs were hung throughout the Metro Convention Centre, where the event was held. When a convention-goer held up his or her smartphone to one of the posters, a 3D animated symbol and audio clue was revealed. The symbols, once all were collected, could be pieced together to create a password that led people to a themed online game called Animism: The Sacred Sites.

The campaign was created by Vancouver-based digital shop Zeros 2 Heroes, and its president Matt Toner tells MiC that mobile and digital strategies like these give the story a chance to live in a lot of different places and develop momentum.

‘You have a curious audience at Fan Expo,’ he says, ‘and I think they’ll find something cool and clever here and build the buzz around it.’

The gaming and sci-fi/fantasy convention allowed the company to reach its target market, males and females between 12 and 25 who are interested in sci-fi, fantasy and comics. Zeros 2 Heroes also hosted a panel at Fan Expo to introduce the show’s characters to the prospective audience.

The smartphone app and the online game, along with a Twitter campaign, will promote the show, the pilot of which will air online Oct. 31 and on APTN Jan. 1, 2011.

‘A lot of producers are wary of digital media,’ say Toner. ‘They worry about cannibalizing their audience…but audiences are changing. The digital stuff is here. We’re doing [the campaign] for not a lot of money, but it’s a showpiece the people can get behind.’

After the online premiere of the show, Toner plans to release a behind-the-scenes look at how the game and show were made.

The Animism story is a mixture of modern urban fantasy with traditional First Nations mythology.