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winner: Psych HashTag Killer
This entry was a winner in the 4th Annual Shorty Awards which took place in 2012.
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Produced by

USA Network

Categories

Campaign for Television

About this entry

PSYCH’S HASHTAG KILLER

Launched this past fall in anticipation of the season premiere of Psych, HashTag Killer (HTK) is a suspenseful murder mystery social game. The thrilling “whodunit” experience tooks fans of the show through an engaging Psych storyline specifically created for this experience, allowing them to send and receive messages directly with Shawn and Gus (series stars James Roday and Dulé Hill), in an effort to solve the case. It led up to the highly anticipated return and season premiere of Psych on October 12.
Hashtag Killer was created in conjunction with the writers of the show and executive producers Chris Henze, Kelly Kulchak and Steve Franks.

Through the company’s integration with Facebook’s Open Graph technology, fans could connect the game with their Facebook world, pulling friends in and even possibly becoming HTK victims themselves. The seven-week game unfolded online at www.hashtagkiller.com and USANetwork.com.

Every week, the fans were immersed in real time communication through messages on Facebook, picture messages, audio feeds, and high-production video shot with the cast specifically for the game and made to look like the actual show. Through interactive crime scenes fans used their investigative skills to notice out of place items, titillating crime scene clues and critical leads that could all prove invaluable to catch the mysterious killer. As they investigated crime scenes and unlock bonus games, real “Psych-O’s” (Psych fans/enthusiasts) could earn points to climb up the Club Psych leader board making them eligible to be one of the #HashtagKiller’s victims. Each week provided new puzzles, more difficult challenges and ultimately claimed a new victim, allowing fans to rack up reward points as they went.

Players could join the game at any point and even continue to play if they found themselves becoming one of the unfortunate victims.
It was a big success in terms of numbers, but also with our fans as they loved playing the game and interacting with the show characters.

These numbers span from the launch of HashTag Killer on September 28 through December 14, with the exception of last engagement statistic, which is for the duration of the seven weeks.
354,104 unique visitors (17% of existing fans)
455k Facebook shares with 59M friends
361k Twitter shares to 19M followers (est.)
60% of users have returned 4+ times
18M total min spent in-story (14.2 min/visit)
15% of users engaged daily over the 7 weeks

While Psych #hashtagkiller created buzz online, fans joined USA’s Character Chatter at http://characterchatter.usanetwork.com or on Facebook to share their latest clues and swap their predictions as to where Shawn and Gus will catch the #hashtagkiller. The online portal funneled live feeds from all social communication portals, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and pulls in video and picture feeds in-stream, allowing fans to watch a video posted to YouTube directly from the chat stream. Conversations on Character Chatter were accessible on all platforms, including smartphones and tablets.

Club Psych rewarded loyal Psych fans, more than 100,000 registered users to-date, who regularly watch videos, play games, take quizzes, check into the site via GetGlue, and share content on social networking sites with points that can be used towards the purchase of virtual goods and Psych merchandise. Fans could also track their progress and see how they compared with other Club Psych members through a virtual leaderboard.

The innovative HashtagKiller social experience was built using the scripted social networking platform from SocialSamba (http://www.socialsamba.com), the leader when it comes to bringing characters into the social fabric. USA also teamed with Glow Interactive to develop the interactive crime scenes.