Westworld Season 2 Overall Campaign (Websites)
Westworld Season 2 saw the world of the show expand; HBO would mirror that growing scope and depth in web properties. The campaign continued narratives seen in the show?only instead of acting as passive viewers, fans were invited into dialogue with the series? robotic hosts. Messages were planted in broad marketing assets using binary and hexadecimal code, pieced-together passwords, an interactive chatbot, and social media?the pay-offs for this digital scavenger hunt were an ever-expanding digital ecosystem of ?in-world? websites. As fans worked together on Reddit and social media to deconstruct the messages, they unlocked new websites or site sections with huge narrative implications. The community?s collaboration created a second wave of buzz and conversation around every key asset?and sent fans scouring the evolving websites, searching for clues that made them part of the story.
While Westworld?s Season 1 sites updated and evolved, five new websites were launched, which thoroughly built out the world of Westworld?s corporate parent, Delos, and its multiple parks. Dedicated fans discovered updated content early through the complex alternate reality game. More casual fans got their content through the Westworld Weekly newsletter, Delos email alerts and social posts.
Pre-premiere, DiscoverWestworld.com was fully taken over by the hosts, leaving Aeden, the site?s formerly friendly concierge host nowhere to be found. The site continued to evolve, featuring glitchy takeovers, map changes to track the characters, and the subtle presence of Delos looming. Before Season 2 ever premiered, the site teased what was to come at Westworld, and how the hosts felt about their ?new world.?
Also before premiere, fans were introduced to the corporate world of Delos Destinations. There, they quickly realized that the company owned not just Westworld, but six exclusive themed destinations. The consumer-facing hub for all Delos parks, DelosDestinations.com featured a guest concierge, Aeden, to speak to all of the parks, information for investors, and connected those interested in careers at Delos to a training module game.
Pre-premiere, the Delos Destinations Intranet featured new employee emails which referenced the chaos of the host revolt, teasing plot points in the process. Later, the site was wiped, revealing only a choice to choose to restore ?Backup A? or ?Backup B.? The backups stoked fan theories by providing status updates about characters and locations and some information from the point of view of a character, Strand. Fans who played along quickly pieced together that the two backups proved that Season 2 existed between two separate timelines--even better, they were filled with clues about the Season. By Episode 7, Backup A became a button [the Mesh Network] which revealed a game where viewers were prompted to step into the shoes of the series? protagonist, Bernard, and put his memories into the correct order.
Delos Incorporated?s restricted intranet is a 360-degree room modeled after the secret facility where the research on James Delos was done. The site evolved throughout the season, surfacing video and shedding light on Delos? secret projects?bringing users deeper inside Season 2?s biggest mystery.