In its first-ever overnight activation, FX recreated the summer camp setting of “American Horror Story: 1984,” the series’ ninth season and homage to ’80s slasher-horror films, on a 110-acre property deep in the canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains. Dubbed “Camp Redwood,” the immersive theater-based experience took place, naturally, on Friday the 13th, a few days ahead of the series’ Sept. 18 premiere, and it featured a small group of influencers—20 horror tastemakers, superfans and sweepstakes winners.
“Every year ‘American Horror Story’ gives us a great opportunity to engage with the fans,” says Kenya Hardaway Green, svp-integrated promotions for FX Networks. “This event was an opportunity to connect some of the biggest fans of the series with key elements of ‘AHS:1984′ and get them excited about the show returning to air. And we knew in order to do that in a way that was going to excite them, and build some buzz leading into the premiere, we had to take them to camp.”
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As the new anthology of “American Horror Story” opens, a small group of characters has decided to become counselors for the summer at the fictional Camp Redwood, but during initial tours of the camp the characters learn of its horrific history as the site of a massacre in 1970 committed by the camp’s groundskeeper. So, FX recreated this theme for the influencers, inviting them to Camp Redwood as counselors-in-training or CITs.
Superfans were provided all the essentials for an ’80-inspired camp experience.
Ahead of the event, the invitees received a Camp Redwood welcome packet sent by the “Camp Registrar,” which included a welcome letter, camp rules, a guide and a map, and some puffy, ’80s-style stickers to decorate their Camp Redwood notebooks with. Attendees also received a recommended gear list with classic items to pack for an overnight, like bug repellent, sunscreen, pajamas and festive ’80s fashions to wear at dinner.
FX transported the attendees to the experience via Camp Redwood-branded vans—a 30-mile drive. During the drive, FX set the mood: attendees listened to tunes from 1984 on the radio while also digesting some disturbing and ominous information about the camp history and the van driver himself. Shiver.
Upon arrival, attendees were greeted by the camp director and staff and escorted to their cabins, each outfitted with bunk beds. They found canvas camp survival bags on their beds, complete with a flashlight, camp uniform, a whistle and night vision goggles. Each attendee then changed into their camp uniform, a ringer tee and knee-high tube socks, and made their way to camp orientation.
Next up were the activities, which attendees experienced in small groups. Keeping the groups on the smaller side was deliberate, according to Hardaway Green, and supported the brand’s …read more