Sonic Prime: Enter the Shatterverse


Netflix is best-in-class at original entertainment that spans generations in appeal – and “Sonic Prime,” the latest entertainment release featuring the iconic Sonic the Hedgehog, is no exception. Getting viewers excited through a brand awareness push meant reaching out to everyone from nostalgic millennials to lifelong geek culture devotees to families of kids who are just learning about Sonic for the first time.

Sonic Prime introduces a new interdimensional concept called the “Shatterverse,” and as Sonic travels through it the animation mimics the shattering of glass or ice. That gave Netflix and its media agency, Mediahub USA, the idea to create a digital out-of-home brand experience that literally used ice as its medium. This brought them to the idea of ice hockey, where Sonic’s speedy travel recalls hockey players zipping around on the ice in the action-packed sport. The concept: Bring Sonic to an NHL game and create an experience where it really looks like there’s a 3D blue hedgehog on the ice. Netflix and Mediahub enlisted advertising technology company Infillion, which could both build this immersive experience through its Creative Studio team and deploy it by leveraging its InStadium digital out-of-home brand’s relationships with multiple NHL arenas. The end result was a multisensory extravaganza in which Sonic appears to jump down from the ceiling of the arena, travels through the Shatterverse (with the entire rink appearing to shatter as he travels), races across the ice in 3D, and sets off a virtual explosion that lights up arena LEDs to immerse the crowd. The audience experiences light and sound to feel like they are a part of the journey. The excited reactions when Netflix’s @NetflixGeeked account shared video of one of the games say it all. To quote one of them: “Okay, this is definitely one of the coolest advertisements EVER!”