To celebrate the series premiere of HBO Max’s Sort Of, we aimed to develop a campaign that would build awareness of the series, drive tune-in, and spotlight the unprecedented way the series approached queer South Asian representation on screen. Because the series had no dedicated social media handle and thematically took a nuanced look at queer AAPI and QIPOC identities, we looked to leverage @HumanByOrientation — HBO Max’s platform for the LGBTQ+ community, to engage the show’s target audience in a way that was accurate, authentic, and non-othering.
To bring awareness to HBO Max’s Sort Of, we partner with 3 queer & nonbinary South Asian artists (Alok, Jasdeep, Raver Jinn) to create a campaign titled THE FUTURE IS THEIRS. This campaign, built-in collaboration with each artist, centering their stories through a digital series focused on the show's themes of becoming & self-discovery.
Bringing together soundbites, stylized photography, and lo-fi video we created 3 interactive in-feed carousels that spoke to each artist's personal story and their unique style of self-expression. In addition, Raver Jinn contributed three stunning digital posters that visually and thematically complimented the carousels.
The campaign was released over the course of a week via @humanbyorientation, with a new post, featured each day. We leveraged Instagram's collaborative tool which allowed us to share each carousel post on both 1) Human By Orientation’s and 2) the influencer’s personal feeds via one single post. This garnered more buzz around each carousel's release and encouraged the audience to support both pages and connect with a new artist/community.
The social campaign was further amplified on media channels such as @Them where we engaged the larger LGBTQ+ community. The campaign concluded with an in-person screening and an after-party in a local Brooklyn community club space (Good Room). This event, in partnership with NTS Radio, featured a line-up of AAPI and QTPOC DJ’s for a night of community celebration in support of the show. The event was live captured via Human By Orientation and NTS’s Instagram allowing audiences to engage one social and further elevate the work of the incredible artists involved.
Through these creative partnerships, we were able to authentically spotlight queer South Asian artists and creators, honoring the way the series spotlighted queer South Asian’s on-screen.
Our Sort Of THE FUTURE IS THEIRS campaign centered, celebrated, and brought Queer AAPI and POC communities together in support of the show. As a result, our brand earned the trust, credibility, and relatability of these communities and further established Human By Orientation as HBO Max’s home for queer film and tv, and the central destination for HBO Max’s Sort Of.
The campaign garnered over 2.3 million impressions across social, reaching over 2MM people and receiving 51.9K engagements, and our in-person screening and NTS after party was attended by 510 people.
Following the campaign we saw a large increase in social engagement across the entire platform, signaling that these new online communities were here to stay and eagerly anticipating content that celebrated a diverse range of queer identities.