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CNN Films presented “Blackfish,” one of the hottest films out of the Sundance Film Festival on CNN Television in 2013. CNN Films' Blackfish was #1 in cable news the night of the premiere in the key demo ratings. The film had the biggest younger viewer turnout and was the highest ranking CNN Film of 2013.
According to SocialGuide, more people tweeted about Blackfish during its CNN premiere than any other non-sports program on TV except for Scandal. There were 67,673 Tweets seen by 7.3 million people about the show, which makes it the most talked about show on CNN in October 2013.The CNN social media team aimed to create a synchronous experience between social media and TV. In addition to curating the conversation and creating a back channel to the broadcast, that featured live tweets from experts such as filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite, CNN reporter Martin Savidge, marine biologist David Shiffman, film producer Manny Oteyza and many others.
CNN invited users to join the social conversation surrounding CNN Films' Blackfish on television, online, on mobile and on social media platforms. The show’s social success was the result of an active Twitter campaign that viewers, news anchors and celebrities all took part in during the film's premiere on CNN TV that continued throughout the second broadcast and in to the next morning.
Beginning at 1pm the day of the premiere, CNN invited viewers to weigh-in and join the conversation surrounding Blackfish on the CNN Facebook page. Blackfish filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite and SeaWorld trainer Kim Ashdown appeared in a live chat with viewers prior to the broadcast and shared their thoughts about the film.
For an interactive behind-the-scenes second-screen experience, viewers were encouraged to go online to CNN.com/blackfishlive while they watched the film. Once there, users were able to interact with the film's producer, director and wildlife experts during the film.
Twitter users could follow @CNNFilms and @BlackfishMovie for tweets from the insight and tidbits into the film and they were encouraged to tweet using #Blackfish and #BlackfishOnCNN. Both of these hashtags trended worldwide throughout the film’s premiere and subsequent re-air.
Get Glue users were encouraged to check-in to Blackfish to unlock a limited-edition exclusive sticker. In addition to CNN maximizing its coverage of the film by leveraging its own scale and promoting Blackfish through several of its regular show accounts, including Crossfire and Anderson Cooper 360.
The documentary was followed by a post-show debate on AC360, which also topped the ratings over all cable news shows at that time. CNN’s Anderson Cooper participated on Twitter by asking viewers to respond to Twitter polls and by encouraging viewers to share feedback throughout the evening.
Finally, celebrities and notable social media influencers helped to escalate and grow the ongoing social #Blackfish debate on Twitter. Singer Ariana Grande, was the most-retweeted of the night. Additionally, tweets about #Blackfish from actors Stephen Fry, Michelle Rodriguez and Zach Braff, helped to drive the social conversation, by encouraging their followers to watch the film.
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Blackfish Facebook Chat with film director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite and former Seaworld Trainer, Kim Ashdown - http://on.fb.me/1gfl0Jo
Scribble Live Blog: CNN Films: Blackfish - http://cnn.it/1nMljye
Interactive Twitter Accounts Chart with most often out of the 500 most-mentioned Tweets.