Journalists and bloggers ‘Taken’ on mysterious treasure hunt in DVD release stunt

By on Monday, February 11, 2013

Last month, I was contacted by Premier CommsNikki Aslatt, who was part of a team promoting the release of Taken 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray. Nikki explained a campaign they were putting together and asked if it would work as content on this site, and I thought it might be good for readers, especially students, to see a campaign from a relatively early stage.

Here’s how she explained it:

The idea behind the stunt is that we will deliver a mobile phone to your desk on the Friday before release and on the Monday you will receive a phone call from Brian Mills (Note: the name of the character Liam Neeson plays in Taken) who will provide you with a set of instructions on how to find a steel briefcase (hidden in a central London location). Using the phone you must navigate via text messages and verbal instructions evading capture from ‘baddies’ whilst looking for clues. The first person to find the briefcase will win a very special prize – a trip to Istanbul. It will be a combination of journalists and bloggers taking part in this stunt

Then, a week or so later, I received the following by email (I wasn’t asked to participate and as I live in Gloucester and work full time at 10 Yetis, it was likely sent to me just so I was included in the content being used to build the campaign):

The stunt took place on the streets of Soho, London on the 4th February, and was dubbed the Taken 2 Phone Challenge.

50 ‘mysterious’ mobile phones were posted to journalists and bloggers who’d presumably emailed back to the address mentioned above. The phones were sent in unmarked envelopes, with just the Twitter handle @bryanmills_now and hashtag #bryanmills written on them. As you can see in the video wrapping up the campaign below, calls and texts to these phones sent the bloggers and journalists on a hunt themed around the location of the film, Istanbul, Turkey, until one person unlocked a briefcase with a secret code they’d picked up along the way, winning a Five Star weekend break in Istanbul in the process.

From the hashtag I can see journalists and bloggers including Heart FM’s Roberto, Ask Men’s Emma Louise, Holy Moly founder Jamie East, TQS Magazine’s Jamie McHale, Entertainment News’ Jenny Priestley and Digital Spy’s Daniel Sperling all took part. It’d be good to know how many of these then went on to write or speak positively about the film’s release, but I’d be here ages and to be frank, am considering a trip to the off-license for some ill-advised midweek drinking.

A really nice campaign well done – and a pleasure to have been included in it from an early stage.

Thanks also to Paul Drury for sending me information about the stunt after the event.

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