In the new tech drama ‘Mr. Robot’ on the USA Network, a rogue hacking group is targeting the world’s wealthiest. The cable network is tapping into their internet-savvy audience to help launch the series.
In the run up to the series premiere of Mr. Robot, the USA Network has been taking on an ambitious launch campaign to get audiences excited for the new season airing on June 24 at 10/9c. The pilot episode, titled eps1.0_hellofriend.mov, has been receiving some glowing reviews and USA Network has been taking the hacking theme from Mr. Robot to heart in their promotions.
The series is about an anxiety-plagued computer programmer and hacker named Elliot (Rami Malek) who works at a cyber-security firm by day, but conducts vigilante missions by night in order to correct society’s wrongs. He is recruited by a mysterious hacking group based in Coney Island, headed by Mr. Robot (Christian Slater). Their mission is to take down greedy capitalists in an effort to create “the greatest wealth redistribution in history.”
ALSO ON HIDDEN REMOTE: ‘Mr. Robot’ Recap: Episode 1 ‘Pilot’
While television shows and movies use hackers as protagonists to expose corruption, Mr. Robot is attempting to set itself apart by creating what could be a compelling show with great acting and brooding atmosphere. Fortunately, USA Network knows its audience and has been tapping into tech-minded social media platforms.
On June 18, the USA Network announced a partnership with the social video platform Twitch for their “Hacktivation” campaign in time for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Beginning on June 16, the cable network started to “hack” into Twitch’s E3 livestream, teasing attendees with cryptic messages from the fictional “fsociety,” the underground hacking collective featured in Mr. Robot. Through their “hacktivation,” campaign, they attempt to erase more than one hundred thousand dollars in consumer debt.
In a press release, the campaign explained that the “debt deletion campaign brings to life the show’s central themes of income inequality and mounting consumer debt among the 99%ers.” The campaign took place over 72 hours where Twitch users would watch the livestream of “fsociety,” where hackers revealed a code every 30 minutes that would be used to enter to win one of hundreds of cash payouts, ranging from $10 to $5000 each.Mr. Robot – USA Network
“Twitch is a rapidly growing platform that has become a go-to destination the most dedicated gamers in the industry, many of whom are in the millennial sweet spot of our target audience. This ground-breaking partnership leverages how gamers natively use Twitch and taps into the highly engaged live stream culture in a way that perfectly aligns with the themes in Mr. Robot,” Alexandra Shapiro, USA Network EVP of Marketing and Digital, said in a press release.
Nation Under A-Hack
In addition to the lead-up to the premiere, USA Network conducted their “Nation Under A-Hack” survey to obtain the current attitudes of young adults and the role of social media and how cyber-security plays in their daily lives. According to their results from a press release, more than half (55%) of young people say that if they could start fresh, they wouldn’t join social media at all. In a self-indulgent age of online engagement, more than half of users seem to be regretting their commitment to the media.
In addition, their study found that Generation Y/Millenials are well aware of the dangers of storing private information online and that hacking attacks represent a serious threat. Their survey found that 86% of 18 to 49 year olds agree that the next world-changing terrorist attack is likely to be a digital one, and that cyber warfare is a bigger threat in America today (53%) than physical warfare (47%). Eighty-two percent of Generation X and Y members believe the United States Constitution needs to be amended to include people’s rights to online and digital privacy.Mr. Robot – USA Network
In keeping with the hacking theme of Mr. Robot, perhaps audiences will become more aware of the vulnerability of sensitive information and seek out ways to better protect themselves. The survey even found that 78 percent of participants were more concerned with their digital privacy now than they were a year ago.
Mr. Robot is becoming one of the most anticipated new shows of the summer and the USA Network appears to know how to reach their target audience. By adapting the hacking theme and exploring the role of social media and online security, Mr. Robot looks to portray a realistic depiction of the real threat to our digital safety.
Beginning June 24, Mr. Robot will air on Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA Network.