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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Lucha Underground – Unmasked and Unapologetic, Live GIFing

Entered in Animated GIFs


With just a few weeks before the show's premiere, Lucha Underground's social media team was tasked with introducing American audiences to the high-flying action, dramatic masks, and explosive experience of Lucha Libre wrestling. The team also needed to create awareness and build an audience for a new series featuring a new franchise airing on El Rey Network, a brand new TV channel. What better way of translating the powerful aerial manoeuvres, slingshot moves, and the intricate, rapid-fire combinations seen on TV to the web than through animated GIFs?

El Rey Network's social media team focused on expanding the second screen experience by using GIFs as an instant replay mechanism. The goal was to put these instant replays in the hands of the fans just seconds after they happened on the TV screen. Using a clever mix of humor and cultural references, the team conducts live GIFing both during the 8pm episode on Wednesday and the re-air later that same night at 11pm. Because the fans always come first, the team shares different GIFs during the re-air. Further, the team makes a very conscious effort to share a carefully crafted balance of action GIFs without any spoilers during the 8pm airing for those who might tune in at 11pm. Through the campaign, Lucha Underground has posted 112 GIFs that had an organic average engagement rate of 14.25%. These GIFs have allowed El Rey Network's social media team to successfully capture the electrifying energy and the dramatic flair and translated it to fans online.

Strategy and Execution

Lucha Underground fans and viewers always want more, and GIFs provided the social media team with the perfect medium to help fans re-live the unique and exciting action witnessed on screen. The captivating and attention grabbing GIFs also helped bring in new audiences by getting the general public excited about a brand new show showcasing a new style of wrestling and a somewhat unknown but extremely talented roster.

Through the use of clever live GIFs, El Rey Network's social media team created unique content that drove social interaction and developed continuous conversation beyond the TV screen. These GIFs featured accessible quality content, not just simple tune-in ads, which furthered the story line and spoke to the brand's voice and audience through the use of wit and pop culture.

The team targeted fans by showcasing some of the show's legendary stars: Chavo Guerrero Jr., Johnny Mundo, Fenix, and Blue Demon Jr. With an emphasis on timing and relevance, the social media team utilized live GIFs featuring these influencers to help seed character info, answer fan questions, build audience, and disseminate content.

The GIFs highlighted the positive and spread excitement by celebrating the over the top action and drama. OUCH!

Starting from zero and with no dollars spent, El Rey Network's social media team used animated GIFs to achieve rapid organic growth, positioning the show as a true alternative to conventional wrestling. With its distinctive singular vision, live engagement, and astute use of humor, the team created a truly unique second screen experience, completely enhancing fan participation with the use of animated GIFs. User engagement and social chatter doubles during the show's air date, most of it generated by the live animated GIFs posted by Lucha Underground's social media team.

It is undeniable that the ingenious and fun GIFs created and published as part of Lucha Underground's social media campaign have played a crucial role in the show's success and have built the core of what the show's online brand as become. Take a look at the GIFs linked for more!


Video for Lucha Underground – Unmasked and Unapologetic, Live GIFing

Entrant Company / Organization Name

El Rey Network


Entry Credits