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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Halo Drone Activation at SXSW 2022

Finalist in Launch Campaign

Entered in Event & Experiential


Paramount+'s “Halo” dramatizes an epic 26th-century conflict between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. The original series weaves personal stories with action and a memorable vision of the future, bringing to life the massively successful Halo video game series in a way fans have never seen before.

With first-ever drone shows over the South by Southwest (SXSW), Paramount+ looked to engage “Halo” and sci-fi fans in a way they'd never seen before — something worthy of the more than two decades of fandom and history built by the “Halo” franchise. The activation's objective was to engage fans in an interactive way while also stunning them with an exciting, one-of-a-kind spectacle that would get “Halo” fans excited and talking.

Strategy and Execution

More than 400 drones flew in synchronized formation, depicting iconic imagery from the “Halo” universe, stretching 600 feet across the night sky above Austin as part of a partnership with the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. The city's first-ever drone light show culminated with a QR code that took viewers to a branded microsite where they watched the new trailer for “Halo.”

The brand's efforts to capture the attention of an entire city using its bold and unique approach during its drone activation provided onlookers with the opportunity to witness Paramount's dedication to offering “Halo” fans a new way to enjoy their favorite science fiction adventure. Repeat performances of the event ensured a maximum number of witnesses to the out-of-this-world display, with countless fan recordings displaying the one-of-a-kind drone show.


The unprecedented activation was launched in conjunction with a series premiere at the conference and flew a total of six times in different locations across the span of two evenings, generating excitement and buzz both locally and from news agencies across the country. The drone show, and the launch of the first two episodes of the series, helped fuel sign-up activity to Paramount+ for weeks around its March 24 debut. 

As a result of these marketing endeavors, “Halo” became the biggest premiere weekend both domestically and globally in the history of Paramount+/CBS All Access, and the #1 most social sci-fi series across streaming after its premiere weekend.


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