In an effort to build awareness for the three-night original mini-series Childhood's End, Syfy and GLOW launched a social good campaign to raise money for three participating charities: Salvation Army, Peace First, and Project Hope. The goal of the campaign was to be able to bring the utopian aspect of the show directly to our target audience in a way that was relevant and relatable.
Based on the acclaimed Arthur C. Clarke novel of the same name, Syfy's mini-series, Childhood's End, is about a peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords. Their arrival brings about a period of utopia known as The Golden Age, but what follows comes with a heavy price to humanity. Inspired by the story and tapping into its plot, for two weeks during the pre-premiere period, we launched a social good campaign to encourage consumers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to tell us what "utopia" means to them using the hashtag, #ThankYouKarellen, and in doing so, they would be "thanking" the alien named Karellen for bringing utopia to planet Earth.
Syfy started with a base donation of $10,000 to each charity and then for each usage of the hashtag, Syfy donated an additional dollar to each charity, which were selected for their correlation with one of the three pillars of utopia featured in the show: elimination of war (Peace First), poverty (Salvation Army), and disease (Project Hope).
For each charity, GLOW designed unique, custom social content highlighting the charity, the cause it represents, and footage from the mini-series showing how that particular theme tied back to Karellen and the plot. The rollout of this content was strategically aligned with Thanksgiving to amplify the message of giving thanks and the trending hashtag associated with the holiday. Additionally, GLOW managed ongoing fan interaction, hashtag monitoring, and community management throughout the campaign to spur conversation of Karellen's generosity.
To maximize awareness, Syfy partnered with Twitter's Niche platform, which provided influencers who created their own content and extended the campaign from their personal platforms. GLOW also teamed with Syfy's media buying partner, Maxus, to amplify specific posts with paid media support to further extend the reach of the campaign.
Finally, the campaign included a live, IRL extension on the night of the premiere in New York City to help bring the whole concept to life in a very personal way. Street teams performed random acts of kindness around New York, which we filmed to promote via social and drive home the #ThankYouKarellen concept.
The campaign was a resounding success for the mini-series, the network, and the three charity partners associated with the campaign. At the conclusion of these efforts, Syfy was pleased to announce generous donations to each of the three charities.
The announcement was made on Monday, December 7, which was one week from the mini-series' premiere and tied to the launch of the heavy tune-in phase. Through the actions and participation of the audience, additional donations were generated for each of the three charities, increasing each charity's original promised donation significantly.
The social success of #ThankYouKarellen and the visceral chord this struck with the audience was further illustrated in social engagement, garnering a tremendous reach with a total of 27.5 million Twitter impressions during the campaign. Celebrity and brand endorsements also helped drive the campaign and raise its profile. Rashida Jones, Esquire, Bravo, Oxygen, and E! Online were amongst the many notable Twitter accounts that helped spread the word.
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