• HBO sent personalized sculptures to the most dedicated fans of its new series “His Dark Materials,” as determined by their social media presence. The channel worked with agency 360i and sculptor Kate MacDowell to craft porcelain miniatures of “personal daemons” to give to fans, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
  • Each of the 40 customized sculptures was hand-delivered in a detailed wooden box inspired by the show to a superfan of “His Dark Materials” before last week’s first-season finale. The show is based on author Philip Pullman’s book trilogy, in which every person has an animal soul companion known as a “daemon.”​
  • MacDowell created each sculpture from porcelain clay instead of molds to make each animal unique. HBO developed the campaign to urge fans of the show to recruit more viewers and build up the fan base before its second season, Emily Giannusa, VP of HBO program marketing, said in a statement.


HBO’s gifting campaign is a novel way to thank the show’s most ardent fans with sculptures inspired by their social media personalities. Those superfans are likely to keep posting about the show, providing additional publicity for HBO as the channel seeks to build up the audience for “His Dark Materials.” The campaign can help to build on other promotions for the series while reaching an audience of smartphone users who use social media and are difficult to target through traditional media channels.

Social media have become a key part of HBO’s marketing efforts in the past year. To promote “His Dark Materials,” HBO in November unveiled branded Snapchat augmented reality (AR) lenses that let users of the image-messaging app interact with characters from the series. The campaign featured a location-based Landmarker AR Lens that activated a computer-generated experience at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. For Snapchat users outside of the Los Angeles area, HBO created AR lenses for fans to decorate their selfies and pictures with digital imagery inspired by the show.

HBO in April pioneered the use of Snapchat’s Landmarker AR Lens in its promotion for the final season of “Game of Thrones.” The lens showed a digitized ice dragon when people pointed their smartphone cameras at landmarks such as the Flatiron Building in New York or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. HBO’s promotion for the premiere of “Watchmen” brought ​billboards and other out-of-home (OOH) signage to life with AR images inspired by the series.

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