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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Multi-Platform Partnership


To maximize buzz and awareness around the theatrical release of American Assassin among thrill-seeking males, ages 25-54.

Strategy and Execution

To promote the CBS Films action thriller American Assassin, PopShorts recruited an elite group of fitness influencers including Jeff Seid, Steve Cook, Parker Egerton, and Kaisa Keranen. We worked with these talented athletes to create "badass" photo and video content that was customized for distribution across their Instagram profiles. PopShorts also utilized Facebook and YouTube to showcase longer cuts of the videos, and to amplify the Instagram content.

Inspired by the immense amount of training undergone by members of American Assassin's cast in preparation for this film, the influencers were put through a 1-day crash course with weapons and martial arts experts to give their audiences a taste of what Hollywood actors must go through to achieve authenticity on camera.

Filming took place at Simi Valley's famed Taran Tactical range, where our influencers underwent intense training in mixed martial arts, knife throwing, and firearms. As a result, they were able to replicate much of the action seen in the film by performing acrobatic takedowns, arm bars, Krava Maga knife and gun defenses, half-spin knife throws, and sharpshooting exhibitions.

On the day of filming, our influencers utilized Instagram Stories to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the action as it unfolded. They subsequently teased the campaign with photo reveals on Facebook and Instagram. PopShorts then used special edits, interviews, custom scenes, and footage from American Assassin to give each influencer their own Instagram "hero" cut. Longer versions of these videos were then produced and customized for Facebook distribution on the influencers' profiles. The campaign was capped off with a vlog-style video showcasing the entire day's events that was distributed to Steve Cook's 900k+ YouTube subscribers.


This influencer marketing promotion for the theatrical release of American Assassin was phenomenally successful, landing over 22 million impressions in the target demographic without the use of paid media.

Due to the virality of this action-packed content, we shot past our goal of 3.5 million views and rocketed to over 12.5 million views, or 385% of our campaign benchmark.

Our content generated overwhelmingly positive user-comments, with 98% favorable sentiment recorded. This enthusiastic response was reaffirmed by the 550,000 total engagements that this activation received.

Despite its modest budget, American Assassin went on to become CBS Films' highest-grossing theatrical release to date.



Entrant Company / Organization Name

PopShorts, CBS Films


Entry Credits