FX launchrf the second season of its superhero psychodrama Legion with an interactive art exhibit in Hollywood.
From March 30 through April 1 at Goya Studies in Hollywood, FX teamed with video artist Marco Brambilla to present “Fracture,” a trippy art installation that allowed fans to step into the fractured mind of the series’ main character, David Haller.
“The artistry of the show is amazing and is one of the things that allows Legion to stand out amongst some of the other Marvel series that are out there,” said Kenya Hardaway, SVP of integrated promotions at FX. “This is definitely a unique take that is appropriate for FX.”
Fans who dared to enter “The Legion Chamber,” a mini 360-degree theater, were flooded by surreal audiovisuals inspired by Noah Hawley’s show.
“Our aim was to create an experience that would take the viewer through multiple levels of Haller’s altered states of schizophrenic consciousness,” said artist Marco Brambilla in a statement. “A flood of moments, thoughts, and memories are reflected into fragmented mirrored surfaces, these kaleidoscopic reflections completely surround us and we have the sense of assuming the characters’ psychological point of view.”
The installation continues FX’s fusion of art and series in the show’s marketing campaign.
“Last year, when we launched the show, we leaned in to art and partnered with a bunch of artists and created pieces inspired by the show and felt they did such a wonderful job,” Hardaway said. “As we were preparing for the second season, we asked, ‘How can we continue to marry art and this show together in really cool, awesome ways?’”
Enter: Brambilla and his studio, an artist known for “visual overload.”
“One of the designers at the network came across Marco Brambilla’s work and sent us a link to his content. He does these amazing deconstructed video pieces, with layers and fragments that meld worlds together in beautiful ways, which is perfect for Legion,” said Hardaway. “When we reached out, he was open to doing something and he was able to come up with this great idea for ‘Fracture.’”
FX relied on social media to promote the event, including a dedicated, localized Facebook buy.
“A lot of the fans of the show are in those places,” she said. “We’ve had fan meetups scheduled around this, and reached into our own fan community.”
The team also has been buoyed by one of Legion’s producing partners. “Marvel’s been a great partner with us on this and is messaging this to their audience. It’s been great word-of-mouth,” she said. “People are excited, have heard about it and have contacted us.”
FX broadened the scope beyond social to respect the cultured art side of the equation.
“We’ve been working to reach out to comic book stores, to universities and colleges around the area, their art programs, other galleries and museums that have audiences who would appreciate something from Marco Brambilla,” said Hardaway. “It’s been a really interesting project for us and allowed us to seed the idea of being part of this to a lot of different groups.”
The big, creative leap with “Fracture” highlights the difference between marketing a second season and launching a show.
“Season two is easier because you don’t have to educate as much. The awareness is there. If they haven’t tuned into the show, they’re familiar with it. This gives you a little bit more room to play with sharing details outside of what the show is,” said Hardaway. “You don’t have to be so focused on explaining the show. You can explain the activation. You can explain the partnership. You can explain the artistry behind what you’ve decided to do and that gives us the ability to give a little bit more love to Marco Brambilla’s participation because we don’t have to worry that ‘Fracture’ is going to cause confusion in the marketplace about what Legion is.”
Experiential marketing has become crucial in garnering attention in the marketplace, to the point where activations on their own don’t necessarily guarantee buzz for the sponsoring network. But FX is confident its brand sticks out.
“What we try to offer in the experiential space is much like what we try to offer in the content space,” said Hardaway. “We’re never going to be the biggest experiential activation, we’re never going to have the longest run with our activations, but there’s a consistency and a quality there that people know to expect. It’s going to be well-conceived and they’re going to walk away from it having had a memorable moment and hopefully be interested in sharing images, thoughts, and perspectives.”
“We’re always looking for nontraditional ways of doing marketing, especially in the experiential space,” said Hardaway. “We are a network that appreciates artists, and whether it’s an artist who writes for television or who creates amazing video pieces like Marco Brambilla, we love when we’re able to support that and make that part of what we do when working a show.”
The activation has concluded in Los Angeles, but there are plans to showcase “Fracture” around the country.
“We’re definitely looking to take it to a few other places. Comic-Con makes a lot of sense for this,” she said. “But anywhere you can find fans of art and immersive experiences or Legion, they would appreciate what we’ve done.”
Viewers won’t have to wait for their mind to fracture: season two of the acclaimed mind-altering series returns Tuesday, April 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
[All images courtesy of FX]