Tying together lifestream storytelling, Facebook Connect, influencer participation and original content, The Colony Experiment was a transmedia prequel for the second season of Discovery Channel's apocalyptic reality series, The Colony.

The Colony Experiment

Discovery Channel

Date: June 2010
Agency: Campfire


A Personalized Story Experience

Part backstory, part social experiment, the initiative combined multiple video sequences, photo galleries, and both real and “simulated” web pages to simulate an end-of-the-world social network.

Those who logged on via Facebook Connect experienced a highly personalized narrative – a worldwide viral outbreak as told through the eyes of the people that matter most to them; their own friends and family.


Cross Media Content

Original content supplemented the “status updates,” including specially created newscasts. “amateur” videos, photo galleries, blog posts and links.

All were embedded in an all-too familiar environment – the “Wall” of a Facebook-like site.

Celebrity & Influencer Participation

Well-known personalities and online influencers also participated by creating original video segments, including “How To’s” and fake PSAs.  All were embeddable on blogs and personal websites, and spread virally with dynamically-attached pre- and post-roll bumpers as needed.

More videos

You're invited to participate in a social experiment...You

A Social Experiment

Star Trek's Denise Crosby features in the PSA.Star Trek

Public Service Announcement

A desperate blogger rants to his followers.A desperate blogger rants to his followers.

Twitter Rant

Videoblogging her diagnosis.Videoblogging her diagnosis.


Laughing in the face of Death.Laughing in the face of Death.

Last comic standing

The final newscast.The final newscast.

Final newscast

Combined with an influencer outreach program that saw well-known bloggers such as Violet Blue unboxing doomsday survival kits, the result was a social online experience that received extensive coverage in trade and pop culture press (including Creativity Online's  Site of the Day).  The experience drew 25,000 visitors a day in the weeks before the premiere, persuading over 2.1m viewers to tune in.

What The Press Said:

The Discovery Channel has teamed up with Campfire to bring you what could quite possibly scare the piss out of you!MovieViral

Campfire has done an excellent job marrying a smart creative concept with a great social media interaction opportunity.Mashable

Creepy and brilliant at the same time, on the part of The Discovery ChannelMacMomma

In case you're wondering what the Internet was made for, I now have the answer.Digigasm

Are we entering social advertising's creative golden age?Mediapost


The Facebook Connect version of The Colony Experiment is now offline. A non-personalized version can be experienced here.