E4's teen drama Misfits dazzled viewers with extraordinary tales of Asbo kids who found themselves saddled with strange superpowers.
The show has triumphed at the Broadcast Awards picking up prizes for 'Best Multichannel Programme' and 'Best New Programme' as well as Bafta success with the show winning the Best Drama Series award beating BBC’s Spooks.
So how did our digital PR and social media strategy help the show to become such a success?
We’ve been working with our friends at Channel 4 and E4 since 2005 on a series of innovative campaigns including TV shows (True Blood and School of Comedy), gaming projects (E4's ‘Grand Master Flash’ entry into the annual Golden Joystick Awards) and viral projects (The world's first international viral Oscars, and the world's first viral exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.
Our digital PR and social media campaign for Misfits was designed to engage the most influential online communities, including blogs, forums, websites and networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as igniting positive word of mouth, increasing views to E4 and driving traffic to e4.com.
The strategy was designed to reach the most influential online communities and help the show to create a direct and two-way dialogue with fans i.e. those that were most likely to talk positively (and repeatedly) about the show.
We monitored online conversations about Misfits and identified early online adopters. We then identified a wider audience consisting of influential online ambassadors across blogs, forums, websites and networks like Twitter and Facebook. These would become advocates and ignite positive word of mouth about the show.
We worked with E4 to organise a secret VIP blogger event and invited the most influential bloggers. This gave them the opportunity to conduct podcast and Twitter interviews with Howard Overman, Misfits’ talented writer.
The event inspired bloggers to tweet about the show which ignited awareness, online buzz and re-tweets before anyone else. They also promoted their podcast interview with Howard Overman which ignited further online conversation and spread online.
Those who attended were given a limited edition Marvel style Misfits comic and ‘Community Service’ T-shirt. Bloggers posted pictures of these which created additional online conversation and anticipation.
An online game ‘Misfits Do A Runner’ allowed players to become one of the show’s characters and was created by the Bafta award-winning design studio, Preloaded.
We seeded this game to the most influential online communities across gaming blogs, websites and networks across Twitter and Facebook. This created positive word of mouth online and a viral effect before the show had even begun.
Prior to the show launch, clips, trailers and imagery were leaked out to online communities which helped to generate further anticipation and interest.
We launched the show with trailers, exclusive clips and imagery and these were seeded to the most influential online communities. Exclusive filmed interviews with the cast, as well as competitions offering fans limited edition merchandise, were also seeded.
The show’s innovative cross-platform campaign continued with bespoke character Twitter streams created and managed by Six To Start in close collaboration with Clerkenwell Films, creators of Misfits.
These streams were active and live during the broadcast, and saw each cast member tweeting in character before during and after each show which added a new and exciting dimension of drama.
As part of our campaign, we promoted the Twitter activity across the most influential blogs, websites and social networks which helped to create direct dialogue between fans and the show’s characters. This led to further online buzz and conversation about the show.
As well as the Twitter streams, there was also an official Facebook page, and the character of Simon also had has own Facebook page which further enabled fans to engage with the drama directly. We were able to use all of this activity to further enhance the drama’s profile in the online space.
Exclusive footage not broadcast in the show, for example footage from one of the characters recording something on their mobile phone during an episode, were drip-fed into the Facebook page. This made the show’s social networks sticky and encouraged fans to engage and interact with it.
As part of our campaign, we used various tools to listen, monitor and measure online conversation about the show. This helped us to react, respond, create dialogue and start new conversations with the most influential online communities.
Our digital PR and social media campaign helped Misfits rapidly became one of the most talked about television drama series.
The campaign helped to create and maintain a consistent, positive buzz for each episode among the most influential fans with over 500 pieces of online coverage.
Over 100,000 fans joined the Facebook page in less than 6 weeks with 99% positive sentiment expressed towards the show.
Over 3,000 people tweeted about the show per hour during broadcast and the Misfits online game was played over 500,000 times.
Misfits averaged over 1m views per episode across E4 and 4oD and The Guardian voted it as one of the best moments in television.
In 2010 the show won the Bafta for best drama.