Every holiday has its unsung heroes, and AOL's video series "Holiday Heroes" highlights those individuals who are making a difference in their communities. The show profiles a vast assortment of these heroes, from Costume Connections in Austin, Texas, which helps children and families who are unable to afford store-bought costumes do just that, to a man who provides 6,000 turkeys for the less fortunate in his community every Thanksgiving.
The strategy for this show was natural for us: we know that our audience on the AOL homepage is hungry for holiday-specific content and they also traditionally love hometown heroes – why not combine both of these into a docu-series? We shot all the episodes about different individuals across the U.S. and made sure the holidays we choose spanned across different religious denominations, locations, and demographics. We then had the AOL editorial team create articles for the website about the videos, with the videos embedded, where each of them will live permanently in a way that's searchable and easy to find. Additionally, we have the videos programmed on the front page when they go live, allowing everyone who visits the AOL front page to see Holiday Heroes as soon as the page finishes loading.
By tailoring these episodes to pique the audiences' interest, each episode performed really well and earned anywhere between a million to two million views on-platform. We also saw that the article links were shared a lot, meaning people not only enjoyed the content, but they wanted to bring the holiday joy to their friends and family as well.
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