The goal of the campaign for Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! was to ensure that the American audience had no excuse not to be talking about the third installment of this television movie franchise phenomenon on Twitter. Specifically on July 22, 2015, the day of its premiere, Syfy and Glow aimed to ensure Sharknado 3 would surpass its predecessor's standing as the most social movie on TV ever (Sharknado 2 received one billion Twitter impressions in 2014). While Sharknado 2 set the social bar very high for Syfy and Glow, it also created major momentum that we knew we could leverage to make our campaign a success.
In order to achieve this goal, we needed to launch a must-see level event by creating best-in-class creative, increasing engagement from Sharknado 2 and engaging a broader Twitter community during the lead-up, in real-time during the premiere and for the period after. We also had to devise a sustainable tweet strategy and incorporate social into the story.
To achieve our goals for Sharknado 3, we created best-in-class Twitter creative; deployed buzzworthy custom and templated activations that were launched across NBCU properties and sponsors to increase awareness; engaged influencers, celebrities, and talent with tailored content to leverage their large followings to reach a zenith of buzz in social streams; and created "FOMO"-inducing content to drive viewers to tune in to this can't-miss event.
Leading up the premiere, we created an array of highly designed, shark-ified custom content that could be shared and spread to people beyond the official social handles for the movie. We also encouraged other interested parties to create and/or share their own content.
For Sharknado 3, we had the benefit of several celebrities from film, TV, sports and business making cameos in the movie. To amplify that star power, we created content tailored to each celeb that they could share with their own fans and we could push out through our official Twitter handles as pre-premiere teasers. We made a custom graphic for Ne-Yo that looked like one of his album covers. We sent custom content to active Sharknado superfan influencers to get them ready and talking about the movie prior to the premiere. Additionally, we partnered with influencers on Twitter and Vine, such as Carmen Electra, Gregg Sulkin and Julia Kelly, to encourage them to produce their own content and share it through their social channels, which we in turn retweeted. To cheekily drive home the point that not watching Sharknado is "un-American," we paired the talent with historic American quotes in a "Great American Quote" series. Lastly, we worked with Syfy's 6 sponsors to make custom content tailored to their brands in a playful way. For example, for Jack's Links, we leveraged Sharknado gifs from the first two movies featuring hungry sharks attacking their celebrity prey.
During the airing of the premiere, we deployed our Twitter War Room to provide real-time responses to fans as they were watching. We replied to fans not only with personalized interactions but also with the added a bonus of pre-made content, to thank them for their interest and encourage them to keep the conversation going. We also had graphic designers on hand to make content on the fly around moments that were resonating in the Twitterverse to ride those waves as they rolled through.
The final part of strategy, which began before the movie finished airing and is still being executed currently, was to keep the conversation going and keep the "'Nado" present on Twitter throughout the year. To jumpstart those efforts, we leveraged the final cliffhanger of whether or not a lead character, played by Tara Reid, would live or die. We pushed out the two hashtags #AprilLives and #AprilDies to let the fans weigh in on her fate. To keep the killer-shark-talk alive with fans before the next Sharknado returns, we continue to create and publish content based on current events and popular culture as seen from the 'Nado's very unique POV.
Overall, social engagement was incredible in terms of both interaction and impressions. These efforts helped Glow and Syfy not only to reach our goal on Twitter but also to blow it out of the water, so to speak. The campaign successfully chomped its way to two billion Twitter impressions for Sharknado on the day of the premiere—double the number of impressions from Sharknado 2. The #Sharknado3 hashtag alone matched Sharknado 2's overall performance in impressions. On Twitter, Sharknado trended #1 in the U.S. and #2 globally. Sharknado 3 was the most social program on television during the day of the premiere in Twitter activity (392K mentions), surpassing the performance for Sharknado 1 and Sharknado 2, which both ranked among the top five programs (78K and 65K Twitter mentions, respectively). The hashtags #AprilLives and #AprilDies earned nearly 40K tweets through the morning after the premiere.
In addition, Syfy was the most social TV network in Twitter mentions (552K) on the day of the premiere. By way of comparison, on premiere day, Sharknado 3 had more Twitter activity than when Hillary Clinton announced her bid for President via Twitter, every episode of ABC's The Bachelor Season 19 and every episode of Mad Men's final season. The success of the campaign was also aided by the number of influencers from across the board that tweeted about Sharknado 3, including the cast of the movie, celebrity fans, entertainment outlets, sponsors and even non-profits and government agencies.