There is so much to see at CES that it is quite easy for a company to get lost in the crowd. A booth too out of the way of the busiest foot traffic or bigger competitors with elaborate setups can ruin the day for a company trying to get exposure for a product.
Netflix was not leaving anything to chance when it set up a fake biotech booth in the middle of the trade show's floor. The fictional company is called “Psychasec” — a firm specializing in the manufacture of human bodies to increase longevity and physical appearance.
“It's about transferring your consciousness to a new, better body,” a booth attendant would tell visitors when asked about what the company does.
The booth features two very lifelike mannequins (one male, one female) in nothing but underwear. Opposite the life-sized dolls is a marquee scrolling slogans like, “New Year, New You. Be any body. #Psychasec.”
Inside the booth, there was another mannequin (male, nude) curled up in the fetal position inside a clear plastic bag. The creators even went so far as to add condensation inside the bag. Looking at it knowing it is just a marketing gimmick, it is an impressive artistic creation. However, looking at it thinking it’s real is somewhat creepy.
The attendants all wore white and carried tablets, giving the whole display a clinical feel. They would answer any questions but always remained in character, giving patrons futuristic explanations for anything they might be wondering. They were also collecting names and e-mail addresses of interested parties, promising to send more information on February 2.
The joke here is that the whole thing is an elaborate advertisement for Netflix’s next big-budget series, Altered Carbon.
The series is a cyber-punk thriller in the vein of Blade Runner. The main character, Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman / Will Yun Lee), is brought back to life 250 years into the future by having his consciousness transferred into a body manufactured by, you guessed it, Psychasec. Apparently, the wealthiest man in the world, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), wants Kovacs to solve a murder.
“You are the property of Bancroft Industries,” a man in a suit informs Kovacs. “You have been provided with this body, which came equipped with military-grade Neurochem and combat muscle memory.”
That statement alone ensures it to be action-packed with fights and gunplay galore.
The series launches worldwide on, you guessed it again, February 2, the same day booth patrons were promised “more information.”