This June, Court TV viewers will get a chance to test their investigative skills and win up to $25,000 via the 8-Day Mystery Challenge, an online game with on-air and wireless components. Court TV partnered with advertisers Applebee’s and Suzuki Automotive on the project, which grew out of “our advertisers’ and our own interest in exploring entertainment opportunities online,” says Court TV general manager Marc Juris.
Delving into online gaming is a natural evolution for the cable network, Juris believes. “The platforms for storytelling are changing,” he says, “and it is incumbent upon us to evolve the way we tell stories.”
Produced by the network and the New York-based interactive marketing agency Deep Focus, on-air promotions for the challenge feature a woman imploring Court TV viewers to help her solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance; a scientist at a pharmaceutical company, he was working on a top secret project when he went missing, perhaps kidnapped.
Viewers who want to have a crack at the case will be directed to a dedicated contest Web site, SaveMyHusband.com, to sign up to play the game, which runs for one week in June. During the course of the challenge, the missing man’s wife will provide participants with clues through e-mails, text messages and video postings as well as information embedded in Court TV’s programming. Promotions for Applebee’s and Suzuki will be integrated into the game.
The first effort of its kind for Court TV, Juris predicts that players “will enjoy seeing how good they are at solving a mystery.”