The Emmy Award-winning series We’re Here’s return for a third season coincided with unprecedented challenges and uncertainties in the face of increased opposition and growing anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
As a result, the core campaign focused on re-engaging the series’ core LGBTQ+ audience, while demonstrating HBO’s authentic commitment to the very same community in order to reinvigorate existing fans while broadening awareness of the series' real-life impact.
Bring back Season 1 & 2 viewers, by re-engaging its core LGBTQIA+ audience through authentic and meaningful promotions that stand out and differentiate from previous activations.
Lean into the theme of social change and queer joy in the face of adversity, incorporating a social good component to uplift the community.
Continue to broaden appeal by highlighting authentic storytelling, universal themes, and leverage the popularity of our Queens (Shangela, Eureka, and Bob the Drag Queen) to drive discovery and spark conversation around drag culture
Extend the brand halo and solidify HBO as the home for all kinds of storytelling
In a time of uncertainty targeting the LGBTQ+ community, HBO and the queens came together in partnership with The Los Angeles LGBT Center for a star-studded event that would make a personal impact on the LA community. An impact that would amplify the authentic local intentions out to the global fanbase at large – all while celebrating Season 3 of HBO’s Emmy-winning series, We’re Here.
To bring the project to life, the strategy was guided by the below insights:
Fans cite feeling a connection to the series through its raw emotionality, allowing them to access their feelings and become a part of the show’s world. As a result, the event’s programming needed to include multiple touchpoints outside of just screening an episode where guests felt inspired to engage, create and share their most authentic selves.
Our research showcased how fans rally around the show’s messaging which promotes authentic self-expression and acceptance, encouraging the LGBTQIA+ community to feel safe, proud, and empowered. Elevating the series hook of “Love more. Fear less.” throughout the event, and giving attendees the tools and bespoke content they could immediately share from the event (e.g. the portrait studio helmed by a leading LGBTQ+ photographer) would be key in amplifying the event and series to go from local to nationwide awareness.
Learnings from previous seasons showcased how identifying and engaging with true superfans sparked honest endorsements and elevated social chatter. Leveraging this equity in the brand would be key in building large-scale success for Season 3 on a limited budget.
All of which led to an execution that was built around two core tactics:
A hyper-targeted guestlist of influential gatekeepers and partners whose audience extended to a global level, and whose endorsement would signal the need to engage and tune in.
Event design/programming that would elicit the emotional responses and content creation needed to amplify it, allowing global fans to feel like they were a part of the guestlist.
Creating an authentic and community-focused activation that also spotlighted the organization's life-saving work, the space was transformed into an embodiment of the We’re Here Season 3 Key Art. The strategically-selected list of community leaders, tastemakers, press and superfans took part in the panel and screening before engaging with programming that was specifically designed to facilitate content creation and social sharing, as guests spread the word about Season 3 and the series’ important ability to create change from a local event to a global stage.
Friends and family, leading legends and tastemakers renowned within the drag scene also took part in a bespoke portrait studio helmed by influential photographer Maxwell Poth, a surprise drag performance from a globally recognized performance artist, and a special donation component. All while celebrating unabashed queer joy, sparking a dialogue on grassroots activism and the Season 3 return.
Influencers and super fans in attendance took to their social channels to share their own experiences from the night, while drag communities across social media took turns unpacking the evening, commentating on the event’s guestlist and glam, and voicing their own experiences and support for Season 3 abnd the LGBTQ+ community. Far surpassing the event’s budget in terms of what it would cost for a similar paid media approach, the campaign activation achieved the below results: