LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK—You can probably guess the premise of FX's buzzy new series A Murder at the End of the World just by reading the title. The show follows Darby Hart (Emma Corbin), an amateur sleuth and hacker who—along with eight other guests—is invited by a reclusive billionaire (Clive Owen) to a mysterious retreat at his home in Iceland. One of the guests is soon found dead, and Hart is forced to use her skills to find the killer.
But that's where the well-tread plot points end, with the unique drama—created by the team behind 2016's hit mystery series The OA—delving into themes like climate change; capitalism; misogyny; art; and, most prominently, the pros and cons of evolving technology. So it's no surprise that FX wanted to promote the show with an unconventional activation that used technology and immersive theater elements to bring guests into the show's eccentric world.
"We were inspired by the series to immerse guests in an environment that felt like an exclusive gathering at the 'end of the world' hosted by a billionaire interested in connecting a group of creative thinkers," explained Kenya Hardaway, FX Networks' senior vice president of integrated promotions and multiplatform marketing. "In this scenario, our guests were content creators across various areas of interest who could enjoy the experience and share it with their audience through a lens that told the most compelling story."
She continued, "We wanted touchpoints that felt connected to the storyline and engaging in the environment, but were different than a standard murder mystery dinner."
The events took place last month in New York and Los Angeles. As guests explored the symposium-style setting and dined on custom menus from renowned chefs Evan Funke and Victoria Blamey, they interacted with costumed characters, enjoyed photo op-worthy Iceland-inspired decor, solved various puzzles and challenges, and experienced other surprise-and-delight moments.
The activations also leaned heavily on new technology. Projection mapping was used to evoke the show's atmosphere, and FX incorporated various engagement touchpoints via wearables worn by attendees. Other fun details? An AI-inspired "voice of God" that interacted with guests throughout the evening, plus a custom microsite where guests had logged their preferences pre-event to ensure a customized experience.
A Murder at the End of the World premiered Nov. 14 on Hulu. Scroll down for a look inside the unique promotion, which FX created in collaboration with RQ Agency.