Cities throughout America have been overtaken by the alien forces. But one space was still up for grabs: @FallingSkies. The intergalactic battle of TNT’s Falling Skies extended online, as fans represented their allegiance and earned personalized content in the fight for control of @Fallingskies on Twitter.In order to engage fans of Falling Skies and get them excited for the premiere of Season 3 on TNT, we launched an online “Battle for the Handle" to let viewers declare their allegiance to the forces of either the Humans or the Aliens. This campaign began during the Season 1 and Season 2 marathons, and extended through the premiere of Season 3 two weeks later. Before the first episode of the Season 1 marathon aired, we transformed all of Falling Skies’ social skins and images to graphics promoting the “Battle For The Handle" on 6/9. These graphics alerted fans to the upcoming battle, and prompted them to prepare by catching up on the story so far. As the on-air marathons began, fans were told what to do: tweet their allegiance to a side by using either #Humans or #Aliens in their tweets. During the marathons, when fans used either of the campaign hashtags, we hook ed them up with a standard alliance image that features their name on an unidentified human or alien character. When influential or highly-engaged fans used either of the campaign hashtags, they were given an elite alliance image that features the user as a member of the human or overlord alliance. These graphics contained fully-customized illustrations of the fans’ likenesses inserted into Falling Skies scenery, and were created by illustrators on-site during the broadcast. We extended the alien and human propaganda by releasing how-to images on Twitter that parallel the plots on-screen. Each image featured the team’s hashtag and act as a call to arms for fans, and continued to be released during the periods between marathon and premiere airings to keep the conversation alive. On June 9, 2013, in the hours leading up to the Season 3 premiere, we continued to provide newly engaged fans with standard and elite alliance images. Additionally, We pursued influencers with large followings and provided them with additional custom content to share. To kick off the “Battle For The Handle," we outfitted the show’s prominent fans, and actors with personalized recruitment images. Throughout the event, these influencers helped us to announce the battle, give shout outs to engaged users, reach out to fans mentioning the show, and to share content with the masses. As the Season 3 premiere started, the “Battle For The Handle" began. The premiere was divided into two takeovers: for the first hour, @fallingskies featured the avatar and voice of Tom Mason, and 2nd Mass fans were asked to tweet #Humans to fight against the aliens. For the second hour, @fallingskies featured the avatar and voice of Karen Nadler, and alien fans will tweet #Aliens to combat the humans. At the end of the premiere, the side with the most support would win control over @fallingskies. When prominent fans of the show comment using #FallingSkies, we reached out to them in the tone of the controlling force (humans or aliens) and delivered them a recruitment notice calling on them to join the alliance and tweet with the specific hashtag. At the end of the battle, when the victors were decided, we replaced the Falling Skies social skins to represent the team that has successfully won over the handle: the Humans! As the credits rolled on TV, we released a short video featuring an animation of the winning side regrouping at the center of a smoking battle site. The animation cuts to a group looking over a ridge from the battlefield at an alien nuclear facility (teaser from the third episode). After the animation, we cut to the fan credits, featuring the key users’ combat images and alliance images alongside their names and character roles. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCPUIQt4z4s
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