- Columbia Pictures is unveiling the Escape Room Movie Million Dollar Challenge Sweepstakes to promote its new film "Escape Room," which hits theaters on Jan. 4, the studio announced in a press release.
- Fans can visit a microsite for an immersive experience and solve a series of puzzles using clues and custom interactive riddles. The goal is to survive three 360-degree movie-themed escape rooms.
- Those who complete all three escape rooms can enter to win a trip to Los Angeles, experience a real escape room and have a chance at winning $1 million.
Columbia Pictures is giving fans the chance to test out their puzzle-solving skills and immerse themselves in real-life situations from its new "Escape Room" film, which centers on six strangers who must solve challenges to survive extreme circumstances. The studio is also tapping into the growing trend of escape rooms in order to resonate with consumers and encourage social media buzz to extend the campaign's reach organically. Instagram has seen a 13% increase in posts using hashtags #escaperoom and #weescaped in 2018. Offering players a chance to win $1 million could compel more people to participate in the game and drum up additional hype ahead of the film's release.
By integrating immersive 360-degree video into the mix, Columbia Picture's will likely see higher levels of engagement around the campaign, especially on mobile devices. Video ads using 360-degree video are found to drive an average of 7% higher purchase intent on smartphones and a 12% increase in the feeling that a brand has a "unique story to tell," per a study by IPG's Magna and IPG Media Lab. Also, 360-degree ads paired with other 360-degree content were considered 8% more relevant than when a 360-degree ad ran with more traditional content.
The escape room promotion is the latest example of how Hollywood studios are seeking younger, digital-savvy moviegoers on digital platforms in order to boost box office revenue, especially as escape rooms continue to serve as a popular marketing tactic for a variety of brands. To promote the release of "Jigsaw" last year, Lionsgate and Unity Technologies created a virtual reality (VR) ad and escape room pop-up installation at New York Comic-Con, featuring real props from the movie rendered in VR. Coca-Cola brand Fanta celebrated Halloween this year with an immersive escape room in New York City, featuring influencer Eva Gutwoski and Fanta-inspired puzzles and challenges to directly engage consumers through experiential activations, which typically lead to higher memorability and brand awareness.