I usually go into case studies of digital campaigns that have made a real impact on my newsleter and deconstruct them there. But todays #FRINGEFRIDAY is sure to be one to talk about, And i want to capture the fan-nomenon.Fringe is definitely a success story but the it is not a success from one campaign. In fact the digital, Tv and fan fiction world is so intertwined that it will be impossible to fully deconstruct.
With hundreds of fan sites and Twitter profiles going into the final season which premiers tonight it is hard to determine where fringeFOX began and fringeFANS took it on.
For those of you unaware, Fringe is a TV series that has fought to stay on the air year after year. In season 1 it was moved to the less expensive, sci-fi hub of Hollywood North, Vancouver BC. After season 2 there was talk of it being cancelled. But something happened… a fringetopia of fan outpour. Why? A great job by Fox in getting Fans to work together. Here are three ways how.
According to Fringeapedia (the wiki dedicated to Fringe) going back to 2009 fans began to unravel a code with in the cryptic images that were displayed before each commercial. This cipher, was finally cracked by a fan who realized that the placement of the yellow dot was a cipher code. See the decoded images at Adding this transmedia element might have been key to getting fans to look deeper.
At this time it also launched a companion campaign that asked fans to look deeper. SearchForThePattern.com This was an early use of a now popular techniqie called a ARG or altertive reality game. Show creators have a long and success history of this experimental advertising.
My favorite is the opportunity to SPOT the mysterious Observer character in the the background of episodes. See what I mean at http://www.fringebloggers.com/the-observer-files/
Promotion is important so is being seen and offering appreciation.
Have you been to a comicon? Fringe creators and cast sure have. And they bring lots of activities and swag, like the Scavenger Hunt all starting with a encrypted message. More about this at http://fringepedia.net/wiki/Fringe_Scavenger_Hunt
As the years drew on I feel the greatest success story is in the fan engagement. The popular social network on twitter hosted a #fringefriday that died in to a time when Twitters own #followfriday was popular. I believe that tieing into the #FF community helped its community building. It was a place for fans to congregate and talk about the show they loved. It was also a great place for cast a creators to join the conversation.
How about the season4 youtube videos of cast members answering the question of fans directly. What a great way to connect.
Fox knows how to guide their fans by knowing how to leverage communities and making sure that they are control of the conversation see the latest TWITTER PROTOCOL to get a feel for how to shape outcomes. http://www.fringetelevision.com/
Everywhere I go in Vancouver I find another FRINGIE eager to share their love of the story, the characters, the community and the fun.
( hey THEFRINGEEVENT peeps, lets connect)
Want to join me in celebrating the show each Friday… stay tuned VIP invitation is in the works.
Please comment if you will participate in the comments.