Bringing the fictional world of Gilead to SXSW in the form of roaming Handmaid’s
We brought the world of Gilead, the dystopian society from The Handmaid’s Tale, to South by Southwest (SXSW) in the form of roaming Handmaid’s. 30 local actresses played the role of Handmaid’s from the series, quietly moving throughout the streets of Downtown Austin and creating an eerie sense of what it’s like to be a woman in Gilead, where women have been stripped of all rights and either forced to bear children or to work in labour camps.
The actresses conveyed the sense of meagreness and piety. When engaged they remained in character while slipping a consumer a temporary tattoo featuring the words “nolite the bastardes carborundorum,”
an inside reference from the show that reveals a secret resistance against the Gilead government.
"It was really quite extraordinary to see people react to the Handmaid's”
Lauren Vu, Marketing Manager at Hulu explained. “We activated for four days (at SXSW) and people couldn’t stop getting excited, confused, or creeped-out by them."
We conceived the activation, sourced and trained the actresses, and created choreographed movements inspired by the rituals from the series. We also worked with The Handmaid’s Tale's costume designer, Ane Crabtree (The Sopranos; West World) to create exact replicas of the costumes from the series to add authenticity and dramatic effect.
The stunt has generated a real buzz, getting picked-up by national publications including Refinery29
and social engagement around Hulu’s new original series, The Handmaid’s Tale,
increased by 218%.