When it came time to launch the reboot of MTV’s iconic series The Hills, our goal was to tap into three key demographics: former fans of the original series; former fans of MTV in general; and new fans who had never known The Hills.
Our strategy was simple...target fans EVERYWHERE and use different platforms to reach different audiences – Instagram for a younger audience...Facebook for loyal fans of the original series...apps and dedicated online/mobile activations for all digital consumers.
We made sure to lean into old content from the show to remind fans of where these cast members started, and given there are some new faces in the series, we had to introduce them to both former and new viewers without separating them from our creative. We launched official Instagram and Twitter accounts for the new series, and started off by clipping major moments from the original show...everything from breakups to makeups to new jobs and old friends. As old fans discovered this content, they commented on how relatable these issues still are today. As we got closer to the premiere, we tapped into new Instagram features to help amplify our content, including in-story polls and custom GIFs. We also launched our IGTV with original content like cast takeovers and weekly stickers in Instagram Story. We seamlessly integrated the new faces in familiar video formats, pairing them with returning cast members, resulting in content appealing to all viewers. In the end, we had over 15 video packages, a digital opening credits generator, a Snapchat AR filter, an Alexa skill, a Smule app integration and an always-on social strategy that allowed us to hit all targets.
Since the series premiere, show social accounts have generated over 45M views and 1M engagements cross-platform. Our video packages received over 10M views; the opening credits generator had 25K submissions; and we’ve seen over 550K in-app engagements from our Smule partnership, with 40K users singing “Unwritten,” 25K of them a duets with Natasha Bedingfield. “Unwritten” has been listened to 360K times in the Smule app since launch in June! Our always-on strategy has provided us with ample growth across The Hills Twitter and Instagram accounts, both of which were launched for the series return. We even saw growth on Facebook, a page that had barely been active in the past ten years. And our Alexa skill received 16K unique users in one week. In the day leading up to the premiere we received 21K new Instagram followers and 5K new Twitter followers. On premiere night, we had 3 Worldwide trends, two of which trended at #1 and #2 throughout the night, and we also had 5 U.S. trends. In addition, we received an organic Twitter Moment and were the #1 cable TV series of the night.