FOX Launches Social Media ‘Fear Factory’ Campaign to Promote Poltergeist

This real-time campaign encourages Poltergeist fans to share their fears using the #WhatAreYouAfraidOf hashtag in exchange for custom content depicting that fear and an element of their social media profile.

Interactive and real-time marketing can be a powerful way to engage audiences. Perhaps the most famous example of real-time marketing was Oreo’s ‘Dunk in the dark‘ post, which has become a case study in real-time digital marketing success. Today, Fox launched its own real-time campaign to promote the new Poltergeist trailer.

The idea is to create a ‘Fear Factory’ wherein fans and influencers post to social media, particularly Instagram and Twitter, with the hashtag #WhatAreYouAfraidOf and receive custom responses. These responses are crafted by the Fox team, in real time, and include gifs, animations, and cinemagraphs containing artifacts from the users’ profiles an correlate to the users’ fears.

Matt Seigel, vice president of VaynerMedia, the digital agency 20th Century Fox partnered with for the campaign, said in a statement:

Each asset and the accompanying copy is inspired by ‘Poltergeist’s’ dark, viscerally frightening aesthetic. We’re using templates inspired by the visual aesthetic of ‘Poltergeist’ that will be matched according to fears of fans as they share them. Content for the daylong activation will be created, edited and adjusted in real time.

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Poltergeist has already been somewhat of a social media success, as fans have engaged with hashtags from previous trailers. By hosting this campaign on social networks popular with the target demographic, it’s likely that the campaign will successfully deepen fan engagement.

Seigel said:

The teen and millennial audiences that ‘Poltergeist’ appeals to spend much of their time on social media, and we’ve already seen this demographic engage with the hashtags in previous ‘Poltergeist’ trailers. By working with social media influencers who are popular with this audience to share their own fears, their strong fan bases will be encouraged to participate in the campaign by sharing their fears, as well.

Real time marketing has already been proven to push engagement far in excess of benchmarks when it comes to advertising. Influencer marketing has similarly shown high returns on investment. If the Fear Factory proves successful, it could indicate that real time and influencer marketing are key components of any social media marketing strategy.