With season one of “Burn Notice,” USA Network had a major hit show on its hands. Burn Notice was cables #1 new scripted original series and viewership was through the roof. The challenge came between season one and season two when a devastating writers’ strike occurred and much of the shows momentum was potentially lost. We were challenged with creating a brand experience that lived beyond traditional advertising and incorporated a car giveaway as a prize incentive. What ensued was an innovative marriage between Hollywood (show writers), a network (USA), a brand (SAAB) and original creative content (Omelet).
We created Burn Notice: Covert Ops, a web-based Alternate Reality Experience (ARE) that turned viewers into virtual operatives, enabling them to learn the tricks of the spy trade from the series’ main character, Michael Westen.
Players were frequently exposed to the new SAAB 9-3 convertible that we seamlessly integrated into the story. Whether in the SAAB or out, users navigated through an epic mix of deception and supreme high stakes in a storyline created specifically for the ARE by Omelet and the show’s writers.
This resulted in the highest ever USA Network show traffic. Page views for the Burn Notice website increased 225% from 9,203,353 in season one to 29,942,335 in season two. The Covert Ops experience delivered 7.6 million of those page views and accounted for 26% of the total Burn Notice website traffic.