Westworld’s fourth season, scheduled to premiere on June 26 on HBO, will appear to test society’s very nature as the android ‘hosts’ threaten to throw the very concept of reality out of the window and pit us against each other.
As part of its promotional strategy for the premiere days ahead of the show, HBO partnered with agency Giant Spoon along with iconic New York city brands Magnolia Bakery, Sigmund’s Pretzels, and Joe Coffee for food and beverage carts, which were manned by mysterious vendors who are trying to capture more than just guest names. Participants are surprised at what they find once they receive their goodies, leaving them wondering: “These treats are free, but am I?”
I was there to witness the takeover. It was sure strange but also in character for the Westworld brand. It was also a windy weekend in New York City so the coffee over there was welcomed. The interior of the drinks had recognizable maze imagery from “Westworld” and the baristas served the beverages with somewhat unhuman mannerisms that made it hard to tell if they were human. In addition, the back of the carts featured the following message: “We are pleased you serve us.”
Several performances were staged on June 18th, including Stephen Petronio’s company’s performance of an immersive waltz at the High Line along with the revelation that the performers were not actual humans, but Westworld hosts controlled by their summoners. It is speculated that the High Line will be a central setting for Westworld’s upcoming season.
Westworld returns to HBO on June 26 at 9pm ET, streaming on HBO Max simultaneously. Through a collaboration with Giant Spoon, HBO has previously brought “Westworld” to life through an experiential activation at SXSW 2018 and a corresponding immersive dinner at the CES 2018 technology convention in early 2020.