Since the airing of the Seinfeld episode ”The Strike” on December 18th, 1997, Festivus has earned itself a place in America’s holiday zeitgeist. Every year, we delight in the organic enthusiasm fans show in celebrating Festivus. This year, we sought to turn the moment into a movement by transforming exuberance into action. We had a grievance! And we were ready to air it!
Why was Festivus, America’s favorite TV Show holiday, not deserving of official national recognition?
To rectify this injustice, we took the most aggressive dramatic action – we made a hashtag!
With the #MakeFestivusOfficial call to action, we turned fans into advocates and equipped them with a petition on Change.org.
Our campaign was designed to center the Festivus conversation with an action, partner with diehard Seinfeld fan pages and influencers to collaborate, and leverage our social listening skills to broaden reach.
We created hilarious social content with clips from “The Strike” that cemented the connection between our #MakeFestivusOfficial CTA and the iconic Seinfeld episode to ensure we broaden our appeal beyond superfans and inspired a younger casual comedy audience to check out the classic show for the first time.
On December 15th, we teased the campaign with a video claiming that “Festivus would never be the same” and a clip of Jerry asking George “Are you in?”.
On December 16th, we launched with a sizzle of classic Seinfeld moments asking fans to “Make Festivus a National Holiday” including a link to the official petition to get as many signatures on our official Change.org petition before the end of Festivus.
We created a toolkit of custom assets to empower Festivus fans to evangelize our cause far and wide. We gifted our supporters with their own “I VOTED”-styled sticker and shareable #MakeFestivusOfficial graphics to help them spread the cause. For the more tentative fans we created a #MakeFestivusOfficial flowchart to illustrate why signing our petition was the only way to guarantee a Festivus miracle.
On the eve of Festivus, our petition really began to go viral. We doubled down with another call to action. Inspired by Kramer’s titular strike in the legendary ‘The Strike’ episode, we called on people to stage a Festivus Walk Out! We even gave them custom Seinfeld-inspired out-of-office auto-replies graphics to put in their email signatures. We were serious. This next level of absurd was not only true to the Seinfeld brand of comedy, but it helped us swell conversation as we entered the Tune In window.
Leveraging the incredible tool of Cameo, we reached out to key Seinfeld celebrities. Guest stars, uber fans, and even the Soup Nazi came together to record messages encouraging the public to sign our petition which we stitched into a final CTA video that premiered on Festivus across all of our social channels.
With our campaign earning universal enthusiasm and goodwill, our syndication partners were happy to support one last CTA to #MakeFestivusOfficial across their social channels to encourage tune-in to their December 23rd broadcast of “The Strike”.
It was a Festivus Miracle! Our campaign was a wild success garnering over 15,000 signatures and the #MakeFestivusOfficial hashtag eclipsed expectations with over 21.7M in potential reach.
Content created exclusively for the campaign was viewed more than 1.3 million times and reached 6.3 million followers on Seinfeld channels and 2.3 million followers on Seinfeld fan pages and influencer channels.
Marketing budgets for library content pale in comparison to what we use for first-run television or film, so we were challenged to improvise with limited resources. This challenge to operate nimbly with limited spend forced us to get creative– and it’s in our creativity that we were really able to elevate our brand engagement to meet the level of absurd, clever, and subversive that makes Seinfeld so special.
Our campaign was focused on domestic audiences, but our cause was adopted globally with signatures from 104 different countries. The #MakeFestivusOfficial hashtag grew beyond the Seinfeld fanbase, with 1.6K total mentions, 21.9K engagements, and a potential reach of 21.7 million.
Reception of the campaign was overwhelmingly good with over 68% of social conversations indicated as positive sentiment. The campaign's timing leading up to the airing of "The Strike" on syndication worked to our advantage as when Festivus became the #2 trending topic on Twitter on Festivus Day (12/23), the #MakeFestivusOfficial campaign hashtag peaked and we received the largest volume of signatures on the petition (28% of total).
Illustrating how earnest our fan engagement was the numbers of people who donated their own money to help boost the campaign within the Change.org ecosystem, .
The campaign itself grew our social reach by +47% month-over-month (Nov vs Dec) for an additional 5.2M total monthly impressions proving that harnessing the enthusiasm for a trend could create long-lasting growth for the brand.