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From the 4th Annual Shorty Awards

Beyond Scared Straight: Social Media Campaign

Entered in Campaign for Television


A descendant of Emmy and Academy Award Winning documentary SCARED STRAIGHT!, BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT (BSS) profiles an innovative approach to keeping today's teens from becoming tomorrow's prisoners. With little budget to support the show through more traditional advertising, we utilized social media and targeted blogs to help launch BSS through word of mouth and buzz. Given the show’s powerful content and cultural pedigree, the strategy was to draw in viewers through: • Playing with the iconic name to create buzz and curiosity around the title • Using longer-form content to promote sampling and sharing as a means of capturing new viewers Tactically, the major areas of focus for the marketing campaign were Social Media, ePR and Digital placements. Considering target behavior, we used Twitter to catalyze organic buzz. Pairing promoted tweets and content-driven ePR, we pushed out new content (:30 promo and 2:00 sneak peek) to kick off the campaign, allowing us to gauge user engagement around various subject matter. Premiere-day strategy focused on using memorable quotes (through a paid Promoted Trend) which would leave a lasting impact on viewers. For ePR, we tapped hundreds of bloggers and armed them with assets (a 2-minute preview and a special “secret URL" featuring exclusive links to a 30-minute preview) to help them organically promote the show. Our digital efforts focused on video pre-roll, targeting HULU and Huffington Post. Partnering with Vanity Fair, we exposed their reader panel of 6,000 to view the first 30 minutes of show. We also sent screeners to 100 VIPs with a 30-minute episode preview. Beyond Scared Straight garnered 3.7 million total viewers on January 13, becoming A&E’s most-watched original series premiere of all-time [only the debut of The Sopranos did better]. Among A18-49 and A25-54, Beyond Scared Straight opened to our best debut ever.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

A&E Television Networks


Entry Credits