via press release:
USA NETWORK LAUNCHES A VIRTUAL TREASURE HUNT WITH
WHITE COLLAR: NEAL’S STASH
Online Hunt Sponsored by Ford, Takes Fans Back to Neal and Mozzie’s Early Days Through Digital Crowd-Sourcing & Interactive Game Challenges to Win Eligibility to Drive Away in a
2013 Ford Taurus
NEW YORK – July 10, 2012 – Today, USA Network, the top entertainment brand and pioneer in Social TV, launches Neal’s Stash, a national crowd-sourcing treasure hunt inviting WHITE COLLAR fans to help track down an old score by using multiple social channels, games, and video diaries featuring show characters. This interactive experience is the final segment of a multi-phased WHITE COLLAR fan engagement, presented by Ford, building on Mozzie’s Mission and The Stash Hunters. The 10-week experience, with 50 custom videos, was developed in conjunction with the show’s creative team including series creator and executive producer Jeff Eastin. Neal’s Stash, accessible on desktops and tablets, goes live at nealsstash.com, with the return of WHITE COLLAR on Tuesday, July 10 at 10/9c.
“Neal’s Stash combines the power of strong storytelling and social innovation to integrate fans into a digital experience that pulls them further into the show’s mythology,” said Alexandra Shapiro, executive vice president, marketing & digital, USA. “Ford played an integral role in driving this long-term initiative, which started in February, offering fans a multi-tiered and phased immersive experience that kept them engaged with the show during its hiatus and now throughout the summer.”
Neal’s Stash gives fans the opportunity to help Neal and Mozzie track down a rare gem stolen from them by a rival con artist. Together they dispatched two of their old associates—the Stash Hunters—to track down the gem. As they traverse the US in a 2013 Ford Taurus hunting for the missing loot, the Stash Hunters rely on the help of fans completing social challenges and games to unlock clues that keep them on the trail of the missing stash. While fans can engage with each other via social media channels including USA’s Character Chatter, they can also get more real-time feeds from the Hunters who will provide updates via their Facebook page which includes video diaries and photos. Throughout the treasure hunt, Mozzie and Peter will encourage users with their own video hints and tips from their respective points of view.
“Working with USA on this series has given us a creative way of inviting fans to interact with our vehicles within the context of this engaging Social TV activation,” said Crystal Worthem, Brand Content and Alliance manager, Ford Motor Company. “Our integration in these storytelling experiences enables us to tailor a campaign that is fun for fans, while giving us a platform to seamlessly showcase our innovative features and capabilities as our cars are an integral part of the adventure.”
Neal’s Stash had a soft launch in the spring when fans were enlisted to help select The Stash Hunters after they played Cracked the Cookie to demonstrate that their con skills were up to snuff. USA created White Collar: Neal’s Stash in conjunction with series creator and executive producer Jeff Eastin and his creative team from the show as well as technology partner Ralph Interactive. The Stash Hunters are played by Elizabeth Aldefer and Elizabeth Massucci.
In the season four opener, shot on location in Puerto Rico, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) and his co-conspirator Mozzie (Willie Garson) are blissfully unaware that agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) is trying to find them before a ruthless agent (guest star Mehki Phifer) - eager to bring the fugitives home at any cost - descends on their island paradise. This season, Peter will struggle with his pristine career for the first time, facing probation and a possible transfer. And for the first time, the storyline will dive into Neal’s family history, revealing the ideology behind how he became the con man he is today. WHITE COLLAR also stars Tiffani Thiessen, Sharif Atkins, Marsha Thomason and Hilarie Burton.
WHITE COLLAR was created and is executive produced by Jeff Eastin and comes from Fox Television Studios. Mark Goffman is an executive producer and Jeff King is a co-executive producer.