Killing Lincoln

February 15, 2013 Katie Tammaro

Our clients at National Geographic Channel are debuting a special docudrama on Sunday night called Killing Lincoln. It is based on Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s bestselling book of the same name, was co-produced by Ridley and Tony Scott and is narrated by Tom Hanks.

To help promote the program, Mullen created a companion site called Killing Lincoln Conspiracy.

The Killing Lincoln companion site immerses viewers in the world of 1865. As the Civil War draws to a close and tensions mount between the Union and the Confederacy, we follow John Wilkes Booth as he conspires to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Through historical photography, newspaper archives and personal quotes and writings, viewers can explore the motivations behind the murder and the clues leading to Booth’s arrest. The site also highlights the ramifications of Booth’s actions, noting how they changed history and showing modern-day locations live on Google Street View. It approaches a moment in history as something alive and relevant, with parallels to our current time.

And some other useful details:

  • This is an HTML5 parallax site design
  • There are nearly 1,000 unique content elements: photos, video, audio and text
  • Google Street View allows viewers to see locations as they are today
  • We worked with the Library of Congress and the National Archives to source content, sometimes even calling local historical societies
  • Users can follow along on the site with the live broadcast using a JUMP button
  • All content is shareable
  • Users can see which location they are currently closest to via geotargeting.

In a related promotional effort, Mediahub/Mullen teamed with Millennial Media to drive tune-in through a targeted wi-fi and tablet promotion. The creative features an option to view a full screen video highlight from the show, and as the documentary is airing, the video and accompanying text will dynamically update to reflect what is going on in the program. The changing content of the mobile experience will correspond to the National Geographic Channel desktop site, which will also be updating in real-time.

As my Mediahub/Mullen colleague Laurel Boyd explains, “Tablets have carved out a role in the modern home, and for many consumers, they have become an important part of the TV-watching experience. The mobile campaign for ‘Killing Lincoln’ will drive awareness of the show at the perfect time—when consumers are at home, on their tablets and looking for content.”

Enjoy the site and the show, which debuts this Sunday night at 8:00 on National Geographic Channel.