LivingSocial launches ‘Boardwalk’ cruises

Web venture organizes events that serve as film/TV marketing tools

LivingSocial has a deal for Hollywood: the promo adventure.

In its first effort to help hype a TV show, the daily deal site has paired with HBO to produce a 1920s-themed “Boardwalk Empire” yacht cruise in three cities leading up to the drama’s second-season bow Sept. 25.

Event expands LivingSocial Adventures into turning activities that it sells to groups of individuals into a marketing tool for nets and studios for their projects.

The three-hour cruise, which will sail around Marina del Rey just hours before the show premieres, will feature a live big band, casino games, photo booth, open bar, whiskey tasting and appetizers, with tix selling for a prohibition era price of $19.21.

Event is tied to HBO’s “Compliments of Nucky” campaign rolling out for the series’ return.

In addition to the cruises, which will also take place in Chicago and New York, Living Social will sell various Daily Deals for $1 through the “Boardwalk Empire” Facebook app that will include smaller cities like Austin, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Only 100 tix, available now, will be sold for the cruise. But email blasts will go out to Living Social’s 32 million members, guaranteeing HBO considerable exposure for the show’s launch through a digital platform and auds of working professionals in their mid-20s to 30s networks typically don’t have access to.

LivingSocial, which Amazon.com invested $175 million into last year, has experimented with film promos in the past, selling daily deals like a $20 ticket to Fox’s “Water for Elephants” the night before its release, which included a pre-party with drinks and appetizers and a $10 gift card to buy the book on Amazon. It’s also offered pairs of Fandango film tix for $9.

Like rival Groupon, LivingSocial has grown its service around promoting local businesses, and the expansion into entertainment will also benefit locals. The “Boardwalk” booze cruise hired FantaSea Yachts in Los Angeles, for example.

“A lot of smaller businesses don’t have the manpower or money to put out big ads,” Kimoon Kim, the Los Angeles manager for LivingSocial Adventures told Daily Variety. But pairing up with HBO also enables LivingSocial to pair up with local entertainment companies in cities it conducts business. “We’re always thinking about how else we can grow,” Kim continued. “Entertainment is definitely one place we want to grow into.”Living Social Adventures now offers events in 30 markets, including overseas in London, Vancouver and Toronto. New events are posted every two weeks.

Its first event in LA was “Shootin’ & Drinkin,'” that bussed 150 people in Hollywood to a skeet shooting range and followed that up with a BBQ and tequila tasting. Its most recently deals included video scavenger hunts for $29, a $169 ultimate sailing adventure and an eight-hour ninja training course and sushi lunch for $129.