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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Save the Sea Scavenger Hunt

Entered in Instagram


Cinépolis USA wanted to generate awareness about its brand through its social channels in an innovative and creative way that showcased itself as a leader within the movie-theater space.

The leading world-class cinema exhibitor is known for its enhanced movie-going concepts and aspires to create engaging social media campaigns that not only reach a large audience but offer their followers unique, digital experiences and opportunities to win incredible prizes.

Strategy and Execution

On behalf of Cinépolis USA, Murphy O'Brien Public Relations (M/O) helped identify the most highly-anticipated films of 2016 and researched which ones lent themselves to creative social media campaigns. "Finding Dory" was selected. M/O then brainstormed ways to leverage the popularity of the film to meet Cinépolis USA's ultimate objective and extend brand awareness.

After ideating several activations, M/O pursued an Instagram scavenger hunt that leveraged the popularity of Dory, a blue tang fish, and incorporated partners, which allowed for increased awareness through posts on their channels. To maximize exposure and select the most optimal partners, M/O researched and vetted a number of marine life organizations nation-wide and negotiated partnerships with the top four groups (Ocean Institute, Project Aware, Reef Check Foundation and Sea Shepherd) in key target markets where Cinépolis USA theaters are located.

To ensure efficient and successful execution, M/O became the architect of a strategic plan of attack for posts that maximized buzz, time, frequency, awareness, creativity and partner channels. Through Entertainment Industry research, M/O found that high-volume buzz surrounding a film's release peaks between the week leading up to and the week following a movie's opening. To reach the highest number of engaged users, M/O timed the scavenger hunt to start on June 17, 2016 (one week before the opening of "Finding Dory") and to last for a total of two weeks (culminating a week after opening).

To leverage Cinépolis USA's current fan base and that of its partners' accounts, Instagram users were prompted to click on @cinepolisusa's profile link, which took them to the scavenger hunt's landing page. There, they were asked to help find the blue tang fish (portrayed by the movie's protagonist, Dory), which tied into the title and the plot of the film "Finding Dory." To find the blue tang, users were given a link to the first marine life organization's Instagram account, @seashepherdsscs, where they were instructed to search for a photo containing the fish. Once the users found the photo, they read about the blue tang and tapped on the picture to find another marine life organization's Instagram handle tagged on the image. The users were then asked to click on the tagged organization's handle, visit its Instagram account, and repeat the process of finding another photo containing a blue tang. This process was repeated three times until the users reached the @iambluetang Instagram account, which congratulated them on finding the blue tang and included a link to the entry page where they had a chance of winning a grand prize of four round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines and a $1,000 VISA gift card.


The scavenger hunt had an outstanding 74% conversion rate from users who visited the entry page to those who submitted their information. The campaign had a potential reach of over 82,800, and 543 users completed the scavenger hunt. M/O generated awareness among partner organizations' fan bases that otherwise wouldn't have known about Cinépolis USA theaters, which accounted for over half of the campaign's total potential reach (47,800). The scavenger hunt was also a strong example of how Cinépolis USA develops creative and engaging social campaigns and provides unique giveaway opportunities for its followers.

The success of the campaign relied heavily on identifying the right partners and coordinating each marine life organization's carefully crafted and timed Instagram posts. Due to an effective and efficient blueprint for the execution, clear communication and the support of each partner, the campaign ran smoothly and was successful in generating awareness about Cinépolis USA and showcasing its innovative social media presence.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Murphy O'Brien Public Relations, Cinépolis USA


Entry Credits