Seeking to celebrate the power of anime and its positive effect on the fandom community at large, we developed a worldwide contest asking fans to share how anime changed their lives. Launched in May 2018, we received 500+ email submissions, 750+ hashtags uses, and 27K engagements from over 30 countries. Winners received a variety of prizes including airfare and tickets to Crunchyroll Expo, our signature anime convention in San Jose, California. Understanding that love for anime is truly universal, we localized our assets in five languages, coordinating with our international teams to ensure that our campaign messaging was concise and relatable in order to engage and excite anime fans across the globe.
At the campaign's inception, we understood that keeping our messaging laconic but provoking would be the core of developing a global social campaign. While open-ended, we developed five written prompts with our eight regional teams that touched upon universal experiences within the anime fandom, such as "How has anime changed your life?" and "Do you share your love of anime with your family?". Fortunately, the anime community is an incredibly creative and conversational fandom where active participants are excited to openly share their experiences. Accordingly, we received a significant amount of user-generated content and email submissions with just static image assets at launch. However, in order to sustain the momentum of the campaign that ran for 4 weeks, we knew that the initial wave of fan engagement needed to be bolstered through varied content.
After launch and to continue global fan engagement, we pulled back the curtain and showcased our Crunchyroll employees' and YouTube hosts' own "My Anime Stories" via produced video content, hosted livestreams, and simple visual assets, which added another aspirational element to the campaign. Our regional teams subtitled produced video content, which worked well with the common user behavior of consuming social videos without sound. We even had our charismatic YouTube hosts in Latin America speak directly to fans about how anime changed their lives for the better via Facebook Live.
We wrapped the competition with winners in the United States, Germany, France, and Mexico. To connect the dots back to our signature anime convention, Crunchyroll Expo, our Latin American YouTube hosts held a panel at CRX (Crunchyroll Expo) entirely in Spanish, where they shared their own stories about how anime changed their lives. They also shared (with permission) some of their favorite entries to the contest. Lastly, they asked fans in attendance of the panel to share their own stories, extending the community experience beyond digital and into the real world.
At the end of the campaign, we received the following in total across our various regions:
In terms of positive sentiment from the community, My Anime Story was extremely well-received, with our comment sections filled with friendly interactions between our followers about their shared similar experiences. Additionally, we received numerous direct messages from our international fans who were thankful to be eligible for the contest and were happy to participate in our first global approach to the campaign. My Anime Story was a simple and evocative campaign that fostered positive emotional connections among our international followers, and helped us truly become the most inclusive and welcoming space for international anime fans on social media.
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