Mayfly VR promo by Mister Sweat
A post-apocalyptic Los Angeles comes to life in VR and audio signals in Mayfly Quest, an unusual book-marketing campaign from author Jeff Sweat to promote the novel Mayfly.
Mayfly Quest explores new ways of telling stories and is intended to span the gap between Mayfly and its sequel, Scorpion. It decodes LA (now Ell Aye) a hundred years from now, long after a plague called the End wiped out all adults and continues to kill kids before the age of 17.
The Quest expands upon traditional scavenger hunts with innovative technology, most notably by hacking Google Maps with 360-degree VR images of Los Angeles landmarks that have been “apocalypsized” and populated with clues. Each of those clues can be redeemed at mayflybook.com for swag and bonus content like deleted scenes and short stories.
The campaign is unusual for book publishing, which rarely mounts the kind of campaigns that marketers do for entertainment and brands. Most book marketing tends to focus on getting books into the hands of people who weren’t already fans. For Mayfly, we wanted to reach people who didn’t know they should be fans. The marketing campaign drew heavily on Jeff’s own advertising and PR expertise, as well as his connections in the ad business.
The hunt also includes radio emergency broadcast signals that tell the story of The End, as well as Snapchat filters and Instagram clues. We’re working with directly with indie bookstores and libraries by providing them a “Gatherer’s Bag” kit that includes a copy of the book and clues to be decoded. The quest is supported by influencer and paid social media campaigns.
Agency - Mister Sweat
Client - Mister Sweat
Founder - Jeff Sweat
Account director - Laura Nicolas
Copywriter and strategist - Joy Allen
Photographer - Jeff Sweat
Social content specialist - Jadrian Thomas
Project management - Matthew Rodriguez
Account coordinator - Lauren Van Delden
Experiential Activation Agency - Boom Howdy
Creative Director - Tim Canton
Technical Director - CK Hicks
VR Image Creation
VR Matte Painting Artist - Justin Hemsley
VR Matte Painting Artist - Suzi Hemsley
Media Strategy - North
Media Strategy Director - Caroline Desmond
Performance Marketing Manager - Devon Brown