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The Empire Experience: Compliments of Nucky
By: Kaitlin T. Gallucci
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Last week we explored the popularity of digital content marketing. Content marketing doesn't only live online, though — branded content "experiences" in the real world can be just as engaging and share-worthy. This Labor Day weekend, HBO introduced its "Compliments of Nucky" campaign promoting the upcoming season premier of Boardwalk Empire, incorporating engaging outdoor branding with online content.
HBO's campaign utilizes the NYC MTA, but goes far beyond typical subway advertising. The network has returned an original vintage 1920s subway train to the tracks of NYC's 2/3 line. Keep in mind that this is an authentic relic from the Transit Museum that is typically only rolled out for the holidays — this is the first time the train has been used for a branded promotion. Commuters will enjoy a ride that includes period details like rattan seats, ceiling fans, and drop-sash windows. The only modern addition is unobtrusive signage announcing the return of the series and encouraging viewers to connect on Facebook for special offers, "compliments of Nucky Thompson" (the show's main character). There's more: HBO's campaign includes an Atlantic City Beautification Program, also compliments of Nucky as evidenced by the sign at the entrance of the city.
This campaign is going to make a big impression on consumers. It's entirely engaging and certainly relevant. Furthermore, it's share-worthy; wouldn't you tell your friends you just rode an original 1920s subway train? For the more digital set and those outside NYC, there are still plenty of opportunities to engage online with special offers, deals, and exclusive content, and affiliated LivingSocial deals provide relevant co-branding opportunities. There's something here for everyone, whether you watch the show or not.

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About the Author
Kaitlin T. Gallucci is a New York based direct and digital marketing strategist. She tweets here.
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