We only want three things here at Ash vs Evil Dead: Look great, have fun, and show our fans a good time. We figure with that as our foundation the sky's the limit. So our objective was to do something new on Instagram to tease the new season and, most importantly, not suck. That's it. No fancy KPIs, ROIs, or PCP. We just wanted smiles on the faces of Bobby and Betty Sue, and good comments that reflect that...and to inflate our egos, but that's a given, right? Now, and hear us out on this, we know if we feel good, and they feel good, then it's like community coitus where we all go home happy. And that's pretty groovy.
Some old dude who died a long time ago said to know thyself. We get that, we think, and so do our fans. We've been together a long time, and there's an unspoken agreement on what lines we should color in and where we can get weird. We're real chums, these fans and us.
So what's Evil Dead? Scrappy. DIY. Three Stooges-inspired. Gory. And so on (ping some literate nerd for some great five dollar words about us). This couldn't be a massive production, and it couldn't feel official. We had to tap deep into our roots and let them guide us.
Long story short, we went to some weird places. But we settled on leveraging creative storytelling of marquee characters. Easy, right? Not when access to talent is slim. So we used toys made by key merchandise partner NECA to place our stars in situations that would be impossible for the real-life counterparts. To appeal equally to fans and those new to the brand, we filled our posts with classic Evil Dead and cultural references, diversified our content offerings with native video and motion graphics, and gave fans exclusive sneak peeks at upcoming content, all of which was integrated into story-based arcs and one-off pieces of content.
Focusing on the story arcs, these were very chopped up, almost comic book-style multi-day pieces, serialized and packaged for the digital age. One day equaled one image and one further step in the arc. You could call us the Mary Worth of Instagram and we wouldn't be upset. That sassy minx inspired millions.
But we digress, arcs were the glue holding our campaign together. One-offs wouldn't work without something to lean on. And arcs would justify and facilitate freedom in one-offs that represent swift creative thinking and hopping on trends and/or notable holidays. We needed the Instagram page to have nuance and layers. We couldn't just take our toys and have them pose with the actors! That's lazy! But we did it sometimes, too, except in our own goofy way. Remember, on our Instagram page the stars aren't actors. They're props. Our stars are our toys. So we let these actors take our plastic stars to events such as San Diego Comic-Con, a Facebook Live Q&A (cross-promotion, baby!), press tours, and red carpet events. Our little Ash even helped big Ash campaign for president, when the time came.
Having only two branded toys to start forced us to get creative. Ash would be Ash and Eligos, a demon on the show, would be his sidekick and foil. Since they were enemies, we had to figure out a narrative of friendship to bring them together. Enter Arc 1: The Redemption of Eligos. The images, with narration in the copy section, begins with a fight and ends with Eligos apologizing to Ash using the famous Love Actually card idea. We believe beyond a shadow of a doubt this improves upon the original...because it's us.
Fans loved it all. Or they're lying to us with their positive comments, views, follows, and links to our account. Actually, we wouldn't put it past them. They're a dedicated bunch. They did bring us back from the dead, after all.
Here's why we think Groovy Toy Time turned out...groovy: In just five months we gained over 30,000 fans from two story arcs and a multitude of one-offs. On top of that, the cast loved the idea and wanted to be included, and we utilized native video on the platform, debuting exclusive footage in one asset and creating two assets that hearkened back to the Twilight Zone and Love Actually. But hey if you don't believe us check it out yourself. We're sure you'll love it because, hey, we love ourselves, too! Sometimes two or three times a day.