2015 marked the 9th season of Doctor Who, which has a long and storied history in pop culture since premiering in 1963. With the newest iteration of the series and the most current, BBC America's goal was to continue building the community's activity through organic always-on social media that doesn't simply end when the season does. Our goal was to utilize live television, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter in a way that connected and continued to build the Doctor Who community.
The real stars of Doctor Who are Whovians- the fans of the show who always surprise us with endless creativity, love for the show, and for each other. The new season of Doctor Who was a time of adventure and emotional connection with the Twelfth Doctor, and it was also a time for the fans to connect with and grow closer to one another. We facilitated these connections by increasing fan interaction between the show and the fans, amplifying fan content, hosting more participation campaigns, giving social live-support in multiple geographic zones, airing the new season premiere on BBCAmerica.com, Tumblr, Facebook and YouTube, and hosting a premiere fan screening at SVA's Theatre in NYC. We synchronized a global release for the new season trailer during the Doctor Who panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic Con and also organized a large IRL fan meetup.
We connected fans with show talent through questions sourced from their social media posts and comments which was then compiled into a Q&A video series called #AskDW on multiple social platforms including Twitter and Tumblr. We enhanced the sense of curiosity and adventure throughout the season with bold imagery, GIFs, original artwork, and episode trailers on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
In 2015, Doctor Who's social team engaged with the audience in a variety of new and exciting ways:
- We kicked the season premiere off with a stop-motion animation paid media campaign on the official BBC America Doctor Who Instagram handle (http://instagram.com/doctorwho_BBCA).
- We heavily amplified fan-made content across Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook― everything from fanart, cosplay and themed Doctor Who crafts to 'Wholloween' carved pumpkins.
- We gave live-support to the premiere of every episode on all of our available platforms - Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Doctor Who trended across Twitter and Tumblr during the show's premiere.
- We created global social second-screen experiences, mirroring on-air programming for the UK premiere, US East Coast premiere, and the US West Coast premiere.
- We hosted a fan screening at New York Comic Con of the premiere episode and amplified activity on social media.
During the off-season, to capture new fans and build momentum for the new season, we:
- executed a #NewToWho campaign to recruit new viewers in advance of this season of Doctor Who.
- supported a new show, The Doctor's Finest. The Doctors Finest was a fan-facing introductory run of the best introductory episodes from the past 9 Seasons, hosted by Hannah Hart and featuring videos and art from Whovians around the US.
- eventized Doctor Who talent appearances on talk shows and at live events on Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr. We taught talent how to engage with Whovians on social media and introduced Michelle Gomez to Twitter.
- hosted a fan meetup at San Diego Comic Con. Fans were invited through Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, and we covered the event live in social media.
- The new season of Doctor Who was ranked as the #2 most social drama on television across Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube, according to ListenFirst's DAR report.
- Overall, social media engagement was up 80% compared to the same period as last year.
- Doctor Who's new season premiere garnered more social engagement than even the buzziest shows of broadcast's Fall TV Season, ranking only behind the Empire premiere, with over 1 million premiere night engagements.
- Due to our consistent Instagram posting and engaging with loyal Whovians, the account gained over 4.25 times more fans as compared to last season.
- On Twitter, fans talked about the show more this season, as conversation volume around Doctor Who rose to approximately 1,000% in Season 9 compared to Season 8.
Fans interacted more frequently with Tumblr content this season, as the number of post interactions rose to approximately 128% in Season 9 compared to Season 8.