March 5, 2013
Team members: Jesse Redniss - SVP, Digital, USA Network, Doug Liman - Series Executive Producer, David Bartis - Series Executive Producer, Aaron Korsch - Suits Creator, Jessica Sutherland - VP, Content Development, USA Network, Julina Tatlock - Interactive Producer, 30 Ninjas, Max Tedaldi - Interactive Producer, 30 Ninjas, Aaron Williams - Co-Founder, CEO, Social Samba, Rick Muirragui - Writer, Ethan Drogin - Writer, Erica Lipez - Writer
About this entry
This past summer, USA Network launched Suits Recruits, a multi-platform interactive social game which took fans on a journey through a power struggle erupting between Pearson and Hardman, the two founding partners of the firm featured in USA’s number one original scripted program Suits. The unparalleled five-week immersive experience engaged fans with their favorite Suits characters by assigning them their first case in a digital story that coincided with the on-air plot lines and office intrigue when the show returned in June.
Suits Recruits became the number one feature on the network’s site driving more than 42.0MM page views with fans spending more than 8 minutes per visit playing and interacting with a Suits original storyline reflecting the show’s plotlines, characters and sponsor Lexus.
The case for why this entry should win a Shorty
Leading into Suits season two, fans joined Pearson Hardman’s Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) as a lead paralegal, or Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty) as a powerful assistant, and the rest of the cast in Suits Recruits, a thrilling legal experience challenging them to solve one of the firm’s toughest cases. Self professed Suitors were offered the role of a paralegal or as an assistant, which enabled them to enjoy two different storylines and information privy only to their specific character to keep them on top of the leaderboard.
Transitioning seamlessly between video, audio and text, almost a quarter million fans read case details, speculations on promotions, converse with the series characters, and pick up juicy tidbits of inter-office relationships. As Suitors engaged with the characters and answered questions correctly, they earned achievements that qualified them to enter a sweepstakes to win the law firm’s $50,000 bonus. A unique version of USA’s Character Chatter was established specifically for the game entitled The Water Cooler, curating the conversation and encouraging discussion among fellow Assistants and Paralegals.
Suits Recruits demonstrated the power of digital storytelling to create two-way engagements so fans could explore the show’s plot beyond its weekly, 42-minute linear broadcast. It set itself apart with four crucial components: creativity, crowdsourcing, the latest Social TV and gamification technology, and a brand partnership native to the show.
From the very first concept phase, series executive producers Doug Liman and David Bartis and Suits creator Aaron Korsch oversaw Suits Recruits to ensure it accurately reflected the show and its characters. Within this custom experience, fans interacted with each other to find specific clues to continue in the game. Combined with these two components, a cutting-edge team including 30 Ninjas and Social Samba enabled an unparalleled two-way engagement. They could integrate the game into their Facebook world, pulling their friends into Suits Recruits, through Facebook’s Open Graph technology. Helping to drive the story was a Lexus LS 460L sedan that on-air serves as the official vehicle of Pearson Hardman and within Suits Recruits was used by players to canvass the city and track down evidence.
The Suits Recruits game was the #1 feature of USA’s site, driving 42.0MM page views and almost a quarter of a million unique players with an average time spent of 8.1 minutes per visit. (source: Omniture).