Channel Four has launched a social media campaign to promote the new series of Skins using characters from the show.
Facebook and Twitter accounts will be created for each of the show’s characters so they can interact with fans, which will post comments, pictures and YouTube videos.
All the activity from the various social media sites will then be pulled together on one dedicated website.
Tamar's digital marketing director Henry Elliss said social media has become the best way to target the 16-24 age demographic, particularly when tied to a mobile campaign.
As well as allowing for the sort of interaction and viral-spread that traditional campaigns didn’t, it makes most sense – advertising in a subtle way in their own 'natural environment'. Very little effort required by the audience, with maximum connection to their social graph and network."
The idea is that the multichannel campaign acts as an interactive extension of the show, giving fans a constant reminder of Skins in their Facebook and Twitter news feeds.
Channel 4 has used social media to promote previous series of Skins, and Elliss said it is a tool that should be used more often.
While this is quite a high-profile example, I don’t think the character-interaction element is particularly unique to Skins or TV, with several big movies having used this to great success in the past few years. Provided you have a plan to follow through and maintain interaction throughout the series, I think other shows will see this and decide to give it a go themselves – the intrigue and cliffhangers obviously lend themselves well to drama, though there’s certainly scope for sitcoms or more niche shows to try this themselves."
For Skins series two to four creative agency Holler was employed to create online buzz around the show.
Holler drove positive word-of-mouth by building an online community through exclusive deals with key media partners, rather than relying on traditional TV and print ads.
A three-minute version of the party trailer achieved 250,000 unique views and more than 20,000 total friends signed up prior to the show, with around 5,000 of them posting the Skins banner as the background on their own profile.
For series five in 2011 Channel 4 built a website that centred around Roundview College, the fictional school that the cast attend.
It allowed viewers to watch videos of storylines that were yet to appear in the TV show, and communicate with characters through email, Facebook and Twitter.