A&E had a few tricks up its sleeve when it tapped a network star and mystifier to perform a 24-hour demonstration in New York’s Times Square, kicking off the third season premiere of Criss Angel Mindfreak in June 2007. The A&E team executed the stunt — Angel being shackled and placed in a 4-by-4 Plexiglas box encased by concrete and hoisted 40 feet high and challenged to escape before it crashed to the ground at the 24th hour — to conclude the morning of the premiere. The live event offered media and consumers the opportunity to experience the power of illusion exposed each week on the series. The team implemented a comprehensive campaign to drive maximum press coverage in every possible arena, including television, radio, print, online and blogs. Outlets were invited to cover the event before, during and after the stunt — and, of course, were reminded to point to the third-season premiere.

Fast Facts

  • The Web site streamed a live 24-hour webcast of the event, updating on-site activities in blog-type fashion.

  • Season three’s premiere episode garnered 2.7 million viewers — the most-watched episode in series history.

  • More than 7,000 people attended the live Times Square event, which was covered by 14 national television programs.

Honorable Mentions:

Outdoor Channel’s DockDogs Unleashed — With a mere nine days to plan a public DockDogs event, Outdoor Channel made a splash in New York’s Bryant Park. City dwellers watched the world’s top-ranked sporting dogs sprint down a 40-foot dock, go airborne and land in a 25,000-gallon pool in pursuit of a target.

Oxygen Media for The Oxygen Fight Girls Upfront Street Event — Ten feisty female fighters battled it out to become the World Muay Thai Championship winner, but top media-buying agency employees threw their own punches when Oxygen’s mobile boxing rings swung into Manhattan.

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