Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Will Hagle
The Network is Watching is an incredibly scary site created to promote the second series of Channel 4’s ‘Utopia.’
The Network is Watching is simultaneously one of the creepiest websites I’ve ever seen and an extremely intelligent marketing campaign. It was designed by 4Creative and Unit9 to promote the second series of ‘Utopia,’ which airs on the U.K.’s Channel 4. The series is based on the a conspiracy relevant to modern society, in which an organization called The Network has access to information about all individuals. The site demonstrates how applicable this topic is to daily life by asking visitors for access to both their camera and social networks. After granting permission to access your camera, the site takes a snapshot of your face. Simply due to the creepiness level of the site, I denied them access to my Facebook, but I’m sure the information is safe and enhances the experience.
After the site collects your information, it asks questions such as “can we trust you?” and prompts users to respond. It then displays several disturbing images and amps up the eeriness factor. A short film of a hooded individual committing murder is then shown in CCTV security camera-footage style. The big reveal? Your face is juxtaposed on the murderer’s body. This is a clever marketing technique, although it somewhat took away from the more realistically scary elements of the experience. The site then progresses through multiple crimes, all supposedly committed by a figure with your face. Visiting the site certainly piqued my interest in the series, so the marketing campaign is definitely effective despite being slightly disturbing and unsettling.