Our "pretty-tough-but-ultimately-achieved" objectives:
Increase brand awareness around Sonic the Hedgehog, bring new life to the Sonic the Hedgehog brand, decrease negative sentiment around Sonic the Hedgehog, increase positive sentiment around Sonic the Hedgehog, completely revamp Sonic the Hedgehog's social channels to be engaging, increase engagement and followers without the use of paid media, promote the 25th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog and do it with 0 paid media.
2016 marked the year of Sonic the Hedgehog's 25th anniversary, and the year he won Facebook. But before we begin our story of dank memes, top notch creative and endless press mentions, we must first rewind to the year 2015.
Things were not looking good for the world's fastest hedgehog. He had recently come out with two games that were considered some of the worst in the franchise's history. His Facebook following growth had slowed to a near halt. Something new needed to be done. Something different. Something extraordinary.
It was time for us to turn it all around.
It began with a big shift in tone by posting a meme with Ice Cube and Guy Fieri, parodying the Sonic game 'Fire and Ice.' Priceless. From there Sonic began tweeting self-aware tweets and snarky comments to fans. People started to take notice. The social following began to grow. It was as if the account had gone rouge (it did; we stopped sending content to higher-ups for approval). It was a hilarious and self-aware, yet positive change. After we released an absolutely insane video featuring Shia LaBeouf that trended on Facebook, the new content strategy and tone was solidified.
Enter 2016. Our task was to go FULL FORCE with the approach we set up at the end of 2015, and fully implement on Facebook. With a new and improved Facebook account and Sonic's 25th anniversary on the horizon, all eyes were on the world's most famous hedgehog. We started posting our own original memes, referencing inside Sonic jokes that previously would have never been allowed on the channel, and parodying pop culture; all with that signature Sonic smirk. We even released a mixtape on SoundCloud (it's lit), showcased new art, and pretty much went totally out-of-control wild.
Among all this craziness and nonsense, we hid numbers and messages in Sonic's social posts to tease fans about the new game announcement on the horizon. Coded number messages were hidden in images, and secret layers were added that could only be revealed with photo editing software (yes, fans actually managed to figure this out). When added together, the hidden numbers revealed the date of Sonic's 25th-anniversary party – where 2 brand new Sonic games would be announced. Fan speculation about these messages was off the charts.
All this speculation helped build hype for the party and the two new games. On the day of the party, both trailers were released and became the most viewed Sonic trailers in the franchise's online history.
The results of this year have been staggering and Sonic Facebook has produced some of the highest organically shared Facebook content as compared to other brands.
The account's content and strategy are used as examples of how brands should do social media on sites such as Contently and Business2Community.
In 2016, Sonic Facebook and its content were featured in Forbes, Polygon, Geek.com, PC Gamer, Engadget, VentureBeat, The Verge, Game Informer, GameSpot, Destructoid, N4G, Gamenesia, IGN, Kotaku and much, much more.
The Facebook page has seen a HUGE boost in growth with the addtion of over 300,000 new fans and received overwhelmingly positive sentiment from fans.
All with 0 paid media.
"That Sonic the Hedgehog account is life affirmingly brilliant and should be followed by all and sundry forthwith." – Forbes
"The hedgehog's online presence has become one of the strangest, funniest and best in the industry." - Polygon
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