For the new STARZ series Heels, the social marketing campaign had to do more than just educate users that the show was not going to be about women's footwear, but we'd be lying if we said that wasn't the first hurdle we had to jump. Our campaign had to educate and inspire newcomers to wrestling while not talking down to the sport's loyal fans, had to be grounded in the public conscious as a family drama with broad appeal while also speaking efficiently and intentionally to wrestling fans, and had to activate the fans of this stellar cast across platforms to become word of mouth ambassadors to fuel anticipation for Heels.
Although this was an unknown property first season show, we were excited to start rolling out content early and often with the launch of our epic character posters. A total of thirteen animated character posters released following a socially led schedule to ensure that each cast member received their own day of introduction and celebration, acting as an avalanche of their individual fan bases. Throughout the season, we continued to keep the cast engage through weekly Instagram Lives that let fans talk directly to their Heels favorites.
Coordinating bonus content from set with our highly recognizable cast, we were able to create a series of entertaining and educational videos called "Ring Talk" that allowed each cast member to lower the barrier to entry for new fans by explaining a term or move and demonstrating what it means in the world of the show. For example, Kelli Berglund gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at training in our video for "suplex."
To educate and create further personal investment with the content, we launched the "Create Your Wrestling Persona" Snapchat lens. This choose your own adventure-style lens let users pick if they were a face (good guy) or heel (bad guy), their walk out music, and more, resulting in highly sharable and personalized content.
We realized quickly that the growing fan base was going to be one to celebrate and foster, so we created weekly "People's Champ" fan reviews that celebrated the favorite moments of each episode, attributed to one lucky superfan. This title didn't just come with a custom shoutout from the handles, but also included a box of coveted DWL swag!
Finally, with a show so multifaceted we were able to create thematic teasers that honored every angle. From the kick-ass women of Heels, to the emotional and relatable family drama, to the fun physicality of the show's iconic stunts, this series of footage social teasers had something for everyone!
Our first season of Heels helped us create an engaged fanbase who are already eager for Season 2. Our social engagement grew almost every week as the season aired, showing an increased appetite for each new episode and Heels hit the top 5 Talkwalker most social premium cable series weekly too.
We were able to gain cred among actual wrestlers and those in the wrestling industry like Dave Bautista, Eric Bischoff, Ace Austin, Becky Lynch, QT Marshall, The Blue Meanie, and others who helped spread the word about Heels on their own social channels.
And most importantly, was a huge hit among our cast and crew who frequently sang the praises of the campaign -- a happy cast is an engaged and participatory cast, and we couldn't have done it without them.
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