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The continuation of the 80’s series Dallas becomes the No.1 scripted premiere of 2012 after a social marketing campaign that included building an audience for the series on Facebook a year ahead of the premiere.
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. In the new Dallas, the Ewings return to the ranch with secrets, schemes and betrayals. This time, they’re joined by the next generation of Ewings, who take ambition and deception to a wicked new level. facebook.com/DallasTNT TNT wanted to use Facebook to create a social TV experience around the continuation of the series Dallas chronicling the story of the wealthy oil and cattle-ranching Ewing family 21 years after the original series went off the air to:
• Make the series—starring original cast members such as Larry Hagman and new ones such as Jesse Metcalfe—the highest-rated cable premiere of 2012
• Drive social engagement with the Dallas fan base who had been dormant for 20 years while also attracting new, younger audiences
To raise awareness of the new Dallas series among fans of the old show as well as among potential new fans, TNT ran a cross-media campaign that included print, outdoor, digital and TV. On Facebook, TNT took a truly innovative approach to catching viewers up with the Ewing family when it unveiled the new Dallas timeline more than three months ahead of the June 13, 2012 premiere. As one of the first brands to utilize timeline, the Dallas timeline built a complete chronicle of the Ewing clan’s colorful history, including the span of time between the end of the original series and the start of TNT’s new show.
scripted cable series premiere of 2012 when it premiered on June 13
Source: Turner Research; Nielsen; Multitrak; Live+7; Cable original series premieres telecasts 2012 year-to-date (12/26/11-06/13/12); based on P2+
No. 1 2x
TNT created a Facebook Page in February 2012 and used timeline to tell 34 years of Ewing history, all in the first-person voice of J.R. Ewing. From the very first moment of the original series through the present day of the new show, viewers could relive every backstab, every double cross, and every memorable moment through one man’s wildly biased perspective.
the number of people exposed to Facebook Ads planned to watch it vs. the general population
• Page posts included photos, videos and check-ins to help bring the
mythology of the Ewing family to life as it chronicles all 14 seasons of the original series, as well as what had happened in the past 20 years.
• To encourage people to connect with the Page, TNT began running an
increase in fans over the course of the campaign
always-on campaign in all Facebook placements as soon as the Page launched, and campaigns on the homepage scheduled throughout to increase reach and engagement.
• It targeted adults 25-65 who were either fans or friends of fans and
had related TV likes and interests in all Facebook, boosting the brand’s Page posts to the right-hand side of Facebook
• Once TNT had acquired a base of fans, it ran media on homepage,
including ads to boost Page posts, and sponsored stories that boosted Page likes and comments in news feed and right-hand side to fans and friends of fans.
Facebook: Building Essential Connections
Case Study | Driving Tune-In
To drive tune-in for the premiere, TNT ran a large media buy on the Facebook homepage called a Target Block beginning three days before the premiere and targeting women 25-49.
• The buy increased distribution of Page posts about the show on the
right-hand side of Facebook and in news feed on desktop and mobile, reaching more than 17.3 million.
• One post featuring a photo of J.R. encouraged people to tune into the
reunion, saying “Things are heating up at Southfork.”
• After the premiere, TNT continued a strategy to engage viewers and
drive tune-in for subsequent episodes, boosting high-quality Page posts into ads on both the homepage and in all Facebook placements.
• Content was fun and provocative: “Bobby should have known I’d
never let two billion barrels of oil slip through my fingers,” read one Page post ad.
TNT relied on its fans telling their friends to watch and share the show, making sponsored stories a core part of its Facebook marketing strategy.
• Stories that showed people when their friends had liked a Page post
or commented on one drove some of the highest rates of connections among non-fans. To further increase engagement, TNT built a “Rise to Power” app that integrated with Facebook and encouraged viewers to “pledge allegiance” to a character from the show each week for a chance to earn points if their character made a successful power play in that week’s episode.
“I think Facebook played a big part in Dallas becoming the No. 1 scripted series on cable. It was the place where we could foster this community, build this community, and engage with them and really from this community build scale in terms of word of mouth.”
Christine Drayer, Vice President Turner Entertainment Networks
• Points could be used toward a variety of different prizes including the
ultimate trip to the Ewing’s Southfork ranch.
• Viewers were encouraged to campaign for their characters by posting
on Facebook, with the ability to earn points for being more active by logging in with Facebook or sharing the intro video, among other actions
Results • No. 1 scripted cable series premiere of 2012 when it aired on June 13,
drawing 8.3 million viewers for the two-hour launch (Source: Turner Research; Nielsen; Multitrak; Live+7; Cable original series premieres telecasts 2012 year-to-date (12/26/11-06/13/12); based on P2+)
• No. 1 telecast for the day on June 13, beating all broadcast network
programs (Turner Research; Nielsen; StarTrak; Live+7; based on P2+)
Tools Used • Page post ads • News feed placements • Target block • Sponsored stories • Facebook Page • Timeline
• Renewed for a second season • 2X the number exposed users who had heard of the show planned to
watch it vs. the general population (53% vs. 26%) [Facebook polling]
• 5X+ increase in fans over the course of the campaign. Dallas now has
more than 1 million fans meaning TNT can reach 125 million friends of fans through Friends of Connections Targeting
• 13X+ higher engagement rates for news feed placements compared
with right-hand side placements
Facebook: Building Essential Connections