TVNZ invites viewers to join the legal defence team via ‘How to get away with murder’ game

For those of you who have longed to put yourselves in the shoes of a criminal defence lawyer, now you can, in the digital world at least. TV2 has launched a new campaign in the form of an online game to promote its show How to Get Away with Murder, through the release of a murder mystery game that casts the player as part of a criminal defence team fighting to clear a client’s name.

The game, created by TVNZ’s in-house production company Blacksand, spans out over six weeks and is designed to keep viewers engaged in the show between episodes. The broadcaster has also thrown in the chance to win $1000 if the player can solve the clues and crack the case.

How to Get Away with Murder is an American legal drama/mystery starring Viola Davis as a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who, with four of her students, becomes entwined in a murder plot. 

According to TVNZ’s website, the game is available for iOS and Android, and players are invited to become an elite member of Nancy Maher’s (a central character in the show) top legal defence team, who are defending a client charged with murder.

The writeup on the website says: “Players have six weeks to complete the game and win the case for their client, Hilary Finn. Players can join the game at any time across the six weeks and play from the start. Every Tuesday there is a new task with a checklist of items to complete. Items are unlocked throughout the week as new content is released into the game. Players receive notifications throughout the week of new tasks and items to complete. An item is complete once it is read. Weekly tasks are complete when all items are read.”

When players complete a task, they are asked whether they want to ‘leak’ or ‘bury’ the evidence in a bid to support Finn’s case.

“The more tasks a player completes and the more items they discover, the more points they receive. Players can gain points and bonus points by completing items, weekly tasks, and by sharing whether they leak or bury task evidence. The more points a player receives, the greater chance they have of winning the $1000 grand prize.”

This isn’t the first time the broadcaster has attempted to maintain viewers’ attention by creating a new form of viewer-participation, it also launched a successful online game in December 2013, based on long-time series Shortland Street, while the show was taking a hiatus from television over the Christmas/New Year period, StopPress reported earlier.

The campaign was based on the premise that one of the characters died during the December 11 finale. Since the identity of the deceased was still unknown, TVNZ aimed to keep fans interested by posting one revealing clue every day until the premiere of the 2014 season.

When we spoke to TV2 marketing manager Chris Hooper in 2013 he said the early statistics seemed to indicate that it was the best response TVNZ had had to an online media campaign in his six years with the broadcaster.


Client contact: Chris Hooper, TV2 Marketing Manager
ECD: Jens Hertzum
Creative Director: Amie Mills
Account director/team: Morag Lavich, Sarah Zwart
Media Strategist: Megan Smith
Copywriter: Louis Mendiola
Digital Art Director:  Lay Lu Yeoh
Agency Producer: Samantha Taylor
Production/film co: Rush Digital
Producer: Danushka Abeysuriya
Director: Danushka Abeysuriya
Photography: iStock Photo Library

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