Bringing a fan favorite to life, especially one that debuted over thirty years ago, is never an easy task. Netflix and Dreamworks TV's co-venture set out to accomplish precisely that with Voltron: Legendary Defender, reimagining the classic 80's cartoon. The showrunners created an inspired new vision for a modern audience, expanding and improving upon the original narrative while still retaining its spirit. "We didn't make the Voltron we saw, we made the Voltron that we remembered," said executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos.
AvatarLabs crafted a franchise website and social campaign to drive awareness and subscriptions to support the show pre-premiere, in-season and between seasons. Our goal was to honor the franchise's history and excite fans of the original series while captivating the young viewers who would carry on the fandom for years to come. Within the campaign, we sought to bring to our creative the same passion and affection found in fans' memories of those first battles between Voltron and the evil forces of Zarkon.
Our initial target audience was 30-40 year old fans of the original show. As the premiere neared, we would then shift our focus towards the younger demographic. To achieve this, we needed to remain true to the fun and irreverent tone of the series and showcase the characters and talent without giving away key plot points.
The social management and content campaign started early, and ramped up over several months. We managed the day to day content and community management on Facebook (the most trafficked channel) and then shared the content with the DreamWorks team who managed Twitter and Instagram.
The official franchise website was optimized for mobile browsing and designed to be kid friendly; therefore, we created a layout with a vertical scrolling interface for seamless exploration on mobile punctuated with big, bold, dimensional graphics and motion. The home page gave viewers an upfront taste of the rest of the content and included an Academy quiz area, where young Paladins discovered which character they were most closely aligned with and earned downloadable badges.
We deployed a client-friendly content management system to populate the website with select news, events, social content and more. To pay homage to the original show, toys and culture, we developed a 'History' section using colors, illustrations and 2D imagery that reflected the 80's cartoon and its classic characters and settings. Atmospheric audio added more fun and immersion to the experience.
Fans were thrilled, and expressed their love across social networks. Our campaign extended the show's reach to over 275k Likes on Facebook, 20k+ Twitter followers, and 6k+ Instagram followers in the first three months. Even better, people who didn't have Netflix were talking about getting subscriptions simply to watch the show.