The overall objective of the instagram activation was to mirror the Gossip Girl ethos in the show. Creating an air of elevated exclusivity, while at the same time allowing information to flow from the source to the audience was a balancing act. We utilized reels, interactive IG stories, and “spotted” content of the characters in a way that reflected how GG used social media to polarize her audience reflective of the show.
Individual Instagram Accounts: We knew one of the biggest points of interest of the new Gossip Girl would be: Who are the new Upper East Siders? They are a new group 9 main characters who are the who’s who of NYC’s teens. Instagram accounts for each of them act as a glimpse into the individual’s life, giving fans a hub to get to know their faves intimately, drop hints about storylines, backgrounds, and blur the lines between reality and GG world.
Close Friends: In preparation to launch our character Instagrams the Gossip Girl page enacted an exclusive list of media personalities, influencers, and superfans to create our own social circle. We gathered people as part of the close friends based on status amongst the Gossip Girl fan base, with the goal that they could get the word out that something was brewing in the GG universe. We utilized the close friends activation throughout the series with the objective to “leak” exclusive GG information to relevant authorities and created a heightened interest amongst the general population.
General Strategy: Every aspect of our Instagram strategy was focussed on utilizing the Instagram page as a real life version of the Gossip Girl account portrayed on the show. IG stories had interactive features where we would ask the audience to spill their secrets, or give opinions on the inner lives of the elite 9 characters that Gossip Girl seemed to have most of her focus on. Furthermore the use of Spotted content (iphone footage of scenes) created the illusion that someone was truly spying on these teens’s lives.
Individual Instagram Accounts: A great deal of knowledge about each character had to be ascertained before we could build out Instagram accounts dedicated to each one. To start, we gathered Instagram accounts from around the platform that we believed closely aligned with the aesthetic, and voice choices we believed each character would have. To execute the vision we had a social embed on set to capture videos, pictures, and selfies, from each character’s point of view; following instructions detailing how each would pose, their hobbies, who they would be seen with, and where they would be seen. We then aligned the timeline of their outfits, friendships, fall outs, who is following who as it happened within the show. For example if two characters started off the show as a couple, we would have photos of them together, when in the show they eventually broke up, we would delete the photographs. We may even employ the use of a shady caption on a character’s upcoming post, if in the corresponding episode, they had fallen out with one of their friends. All of these details worked to make the character accounts act as an extension of the characters portrayed on the show.
Individual Instagram Accounts: By the end of Season 1B, we were running 10 Instagram accounts for the show– one for Gossip Girl and 9 dedicated to our main characters. The total number of followers across the 9 individual accounts grew to 680K. Comments indicate that fans got exactly what we wanted them to out of the profiles. Many times we saw them commenting to fans about their storylines, giving them advice, or cheeky banter. Most of all, we saw them fawning over the posts of the characters they loved the most, loving the extra content they saw of their outfits, hair, nails, and overall energy.
Close Friends: Close friends really proved to be a success especially throughout the pre-season social campaign. It got the word out amongst some very popular people about what was to come from the then enigmatic Gossip Girl reboot. As time went on, it became a great tool for getting buzz about major beats out in a way that felt aligned with the brand ethos, known to some, but before long– known to all.