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Discovery Launches A Social Media Experiment To Simulate Response to Pandemic

Discovery the colony social experiment facebook "The Colony" may soon include your friends - and they probably won't like it one bit.

According to reports in Adweek, The Discovery Channel is promoting the second season of its survivalist reality show 'The Colony' with a social experiment called "Join The Colony," which simulates how your social circle might react on Facebook as a devastating pandemic unfolds. 

The effort, created by Campfire, includes fake footage fictional updates from your real friends, family and colleagues as they post about the effects of the outbreak on the cities where they live. 

In my new book, THE ON-DEMAND BRAND, I look at how Discovery has long used such social marketing initiatives to promote programing like its annual Shark Week block - as well as expansive alternate reality games/adventures like The Lost Experience.

This new effort from Discovery looks exceptionally compelling - and creepy - as a kind of digital era update to "Special Bulletin," a 1983 nuclear disaster special that came across like real television footage and freaked everyone out.

Here, the effect may be far more powerful.

Read more about the effort here.

Join The Colony yourself, here.

And read more about the book, here.



OD_cover "... AN ESSENTIAL READ ..."

โ€œThis is an essential read for those of us tasked with connecting and engaging with the elusive 'I want it right now' generation. Anyone interested in not sucking at their jobs should pick this book up immediately!"

Jordan Atlas
Vice President, Group Creative Director




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Hey Rick, just had to comment on this story. I'm the Creative Director at Campfire who conceived and is overseeing this project for Discovery. When Discovery briefed us on the project, we all talked for awhile about how news travels very differently today, and how people would experience a pandemic. And then, I kid you not, I said the fateful words "Did any of you guys ever see a movie called Special Bulletin?"

So I take it as high praise that you saw that influence in the final piece. Thankyou.

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