Swiss Army Man is more than a film about a farting corpse, it's a coming-of-age film about friendship, imagination and heart. Working with A24, we created a campaign around these themes by inviting audiences to text, play and befriend the film's main character, Manny (played by Daniel Radcliffe).
Because the film begins on a desert island, the campaign began by sending influencers a message in a bottle. Or, more correctly, a Manny in a bottle. Instructions to text him lead recipients to swissarmyman.com.
Once on the site, visitors found themselves face to face with a limp Daniel Radcliffe. Play around with his dead body and discover he can do more than just lie there. Text him for keywords like KNIFEHAND, CANTEEN, FRIDAY, CANNON, COMPASS and DREAMS—to uncover his secret abilities. There's more to Manny than meets the eye.
Throughout the next few weeks Manny would occasionally ping opted-in friends with questions about life. Thanks to his friends, Manny became even more curious and worldly. Manny's voice was developed using a custom AI chatbot, with which we were able to interface one-on-one with tens of thousands of users at a time.
To prove how helpful he could be, Manny surprised his friends with pizzas, sang them a song over the phone and even invited them to hang out in cities around the world. When Manny asked his friends, "What is sex like?" we created a microsite out of the real responses.
Best-in-class social content brought more and more people into the campaign by featuring the film's humor and heart. The sponsored GIPHY page supplied audiences with a bevy of useful reactions GIFs.
We quickly realized Manny's friendship was something audiences treasured and Manny was a friend they could rely on. We saw it in the thousands of responses he received daily and have to thank them for being the ones that truly brought Manny to life.
The response to this campaign was overwhelming, regularly making headlines across news and entertainment sites like Mashable, the Hollywood Reporter, Nerdist, Buzzfeed, Business Insider and more. The response on Twitter was exceedingly positive - Manny's BFFs were busy sharing their experiences and spreading the word. Daniel Radcliffe even discussed the campaign during his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, exposing a primetime audience to the campaign. The film's theatrical release became one of A24's best-performing.
We're proud to have been part of a campaign for one of the most talked about films of the year. We love you Manny.