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LOS ANGELES Some people would consider it torture to remain in a confined space and endure days on end of television. Others would call it the best way to spend a few chilly days in December. It was those fans in the latter category who came to participate in a marketing stunt called the ”24 marathon challenge and fan fest experience” at the Hollywood & Highland Center, arranged by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment ahead of the release of the 24 DVD box set on December 14. Beginning on December 2, fans came together to watch continuous, back-to-back episodes of 24 in an attempt to break the Guinness world record of 86 hours for longest television viewing; around 11:45 a.m. Monday, that record fell.
The 24 challenge, benefiting My Hope for Children, welcomed 100 fans into a custom-made home theater, where they settled in late last week. Fox Home Entertainment director of publicity Chris Bess oversaw the event and Night Vision Entertainment produced it, building the custom theater that held only the contestants, couches, and TVs. The box was made of Plexiglass and a 24-hour medical staff stood by to monitor the contestants inside. The Hard Rock Cafe came by with food three times per day, and Kona Deep provided the water to sustain the TV watchers.
Fans who didn't participate in the marathon were invited to check out original props form the series, see behind-the-scenes footage, and meet cast members from the show.
”24 is the perfect franchise for an event like this,“ said Bess. “This groundbreaking show was perfect because it is action packed and addictive. The feedback has been tremendous, especially because this event has always been for the fans. 24 is such a beloved show and the response from the fans has been overwhelming. People love and want to experience what its like to be Jack Bauer.”
Bess, who said the company is still tallying the consumer impression and PR value from the event, added, “We are confident we've reached millions of consumers and generated millions in media. Additionally, the fan engagement online and through social media has been tremendous.”