Best Use of Social Media for Television← Go back to category
Orange Is The New Black, a Netflix Original Series
Netflix / Heavenspot
Feb. 19, 2014
Team members: Eric Pallotta - Director, Social Media, Netflix, Kristina Fleischer - Social Media, Netflix, Kathryn Perez-Fraga - VP, Social Media, Heavenspot, Chevon Hicks - Executive Creative Director, Heavenspot
About this entry
Orange Is The New Black, a Netflix original series, premiered in July of 2013 and quickly became a television phenomenon due in part to a fan-first social campaign that served to introduce social media users to the show's complex cast and storylines, then provided a highly responsive, multiplatform social universe that would make fans feel immersed in the community at Litchfield Prison.
The OITNB campaign included a conversational Twitter that engages with fans in an authentic voice, celebrating the humor and heart of the series, also serving as the main platform for our interactive activations with the cast including weekly Q&As and cast judged fan competitions.
The Facebook community gave fans a place to gather and discuss around in-world assets, such as character illustrations, prison life instructionals (DIY shower shoes, anyone?) and visualizations of the show's highly quoteable dialog.
On Instagram, fans were treated to an insider's look at the making of OITNB in real-time, through photos and videos of the cast behind-the-scenes and a #GuessTheBunk activity where fans are encouraged to guess the bunk based on a clue in an up-close BTS shot. We also utilized Instagram direct messaging to send fans in-character video messages from the cast during the #IHeartOITNB stunt.
With Tumblr, we took the opportunity to encourage fan art and celebrate the incredible contributions made by the fan community.
Regular contests and promotions injected energy into the campaign at key points. In late summer, we encouraged fans to share their “Taystee Twist” dance videos to win special shout outs from fan favorite Taystee (Danielle Brooks), as well as exclusive prison jumpsuits. At Halloween, we hosted “Big Boo’s Costume Contest,” where fans OITNB costumes competed to be among Big Boo’s (Lea Delaria) favorites. The Secret Santa event for holiday gave fans the chance to win personalized gifts from their favorite cast members.
This coordinated multi-platform strategy allows fans to live in the world of Orange Is The New Black, where they want and when they want, perfectly aligned with the Netflix's vision of how fans can enjoy the series itself.
The case for why this entry should win a Shorty
The campaign for Orange Is The New Black presented a unique challenge: how to introduce and engage fans to a complex series set in a women's prison, that would feel true to the humor and heart of the show, without spoilers or weekly tune-in calls to action?
By understanding the unique elements that would connect fans to the series, we were able to create an exciting, dynamic campaign that didn't rely on tricks and gimmicks, but utilized social media for exactly what it does best - an authentic, one-to-one relationship with fans. This relationship was created and developed through high-quality creative assets, highly interactive social channels, thoughtful contests and promotions, and participation in the larger social media conversation on behalf of the OITNB community.
Fans fell in love with Orange Is The New Black across social media, making this original series a huge success for Netflix.
With a fan first approach, we utilize active engagement strategies including live-tweet Q&As with the cast (Visiting Hours), as well as ongoing activations that reward fans with swag and personal video messages from the cast - The Taystee Twist Challenge, Big Boo's Halloween Competition, the Cast Secret Santa event, and #IHeartOITNB to name a few.
We hosted weekly live Q&As with the cast of OITNB, called Visiting Hours utilizing the hashtag #AskOrange. During these weekly chats with the cast, we also released exclusive creative content and rewarded random fans with OITNB swag. Our weekly live chats were promoted globally, with the aim of including OITNB fans from our regions all around the world. As a result, #AskOrange would trend in during our live chats in cities around the world such as New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London.
#AskOrange Sample Tweets from Cast and Fans:
We asked fans to submit videos telling us why they love OITNB. We direct messaged them back video messages from their favorite characters. Fans also received OITNB themed Valentine gifts.
Cast Secret Santa - Fans were selected at random to receive a cast "Secret Santa" including a personalized gift based on the cast member's character. The selected fans receive a surprise video from the cast member.
Big Boo’s Halloween Competiton judged by the Real Big Boo (Lea Delaria) - We asked fans to send us photos of their OITNB costumes and the real Big Boo chose the best. Winners received a personalized video message, OITNB posters and swag.
Taystee Twist Competition judged by the Real Taystee (Danielle Brooks) - Taystee is known for her killer dance move - The Taystee Twist - We asked fans to show us their best dance moves and the real life Taystee (Danielle Brooks) selected winners and received a personalized video message from "Taystee."