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    A real-world interactive campaign to promote synthpop duo Hurts second album Exile. Created by FOAM in collaboration with Reuben Feels. FOAM crea… Read More
    A real-world interactive campaign to promote synthpop duo Hurts second album Exile. Created by FOAM in collaboration with Reuben Feels. FOAM creatives included Phil Clandillon, Steve Milbourne, Sophie Yeoman, Andy Goodridge, El Neal & Kate Geary. Read Less
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Synthpop duo Hurts wanted to reconnect with the journalists who championed their first album, and get them excited about Exile, their upcoming second LP.
 
We created a real world interactive narrative experience which piqued journalists attention and led them down a rabbithole of intrigue and mystery.
 
We started by procuring a large amount of cassette decks (naturally), and doing a bit of light stalking to find out where the journalists worked.
We sent each journalist a tape deck and a typewritten note.
This immediately got their interest.
Next to arrive was a mysterious hand-addressed envelope from Russia. Except it wasn't really from Russia. We actually got Hurts' Russian label to send us genuine local postage stamps, and we had a very crafty gentleman make us up some Russian postmark stamps. The letters were then hand-delivered to the offices of our journos.
Inside was a beautifully written love letter, composed of lyrics from Hurts' last album and signed by the enigmatic Valentina (or Leon, depending on who was receiving the letter)...
...and a ticket for an item conveniently deposited at their nearest dry cleaners.
Waiting at the dry cleaners – a dinner jacket embroidered with a mysterious H symbol, and with a gold cassette in the breast pocket.
 
Each cassette tape contained music from the new album, intercut with strange transmissions from Russian radio stations. In the box was a carefully photoshopped polaroid of the journalist with either Leon or Valentina, labelled with "Heaven 7.2.13", the date and location of the band's upcoming London gig.
Popjustice summed up the experience very nicely at the end of one of their three in-depth articles.
And there was more to come. A few days later, each journalist received a final package containing a set of Russian dolls. The smallest doll had a gold chain attached, and a note from Valentina (or Leon) asking them to wear it to the gig at Heaven.
On producing their russian doll at the gig, our journalists were led to what they thought was a VIP bar. In fact, it was a secret room where immersive theatre and storytelling company Reuben Feels had created a bespoke theatrical experience.
 
Once all the journalists were in place, Leon and Valentina took them to meet their enigmatic leader Jon. This developed into a 5 minute narrative in which the journalists were indoctrinated into a strange cult.
 
Once the initiation was complete the journalists were each given a beautiful bound book, signed by Adam and Theo from Hurts and containing all of the lyrics from the new album. They were then led downstairs where the gig was about to commence.
The signed, hand-bound book of lyrics.
Alongside the activity for journlists, we also developed a unique and innovative voice-controlled interactive theatre experience for iOS devices.

The Exile app allowed members of the public to go take part in the same narrative we developed for the journalists. The theatrical part of the app was also written and produced by Rueben Feels.
 
Participants interacted with the story by speaking, and encountered music from Exile along the way. The app was recorded using 3D binaural audio, and was available in the App Store during the week of Exile's release.
Credits
Client: Sony Music / Major Label
Creative Agency: FOAM London
Creative Directors: Steve Milbourne & Phil Clandillon
Creatives: El Neal & Kate Geary
Producer: Sophie Yeoman
Project Management: Benoit Cillard
Engineers: Matthew Walters & Peter Hammerton
Development: Haolin Yang
Filming: Andy Hui
Interactive Audio & Design: Andy Goodridge
Voice Over: Tom Denning
Handwriting: Rosalind Wyatt
Marketing Manager: Nathalie Barnett
Immersive Theatre: Reuben Feels
Writers: Isabel Soden & Francesca Gardiner
Directors/Producers: Isabel Soden, Natalie K Marsland, Dom Le Moignan, Adam Johnstone
App Cast: Rachel Snider, Alyssa Kyria, Will Scott Masson
Gig Cast: Niki Khitrova, Emil Lager, George Siena, Thom Mitchell
Photography: Eleanor Taylor-Davis
Choir: The Reuben Feels Choir