An inside look at MTV's 'Teen Wolf: The Hunt'

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

After MTV President Stephen Friedman hinted at how excited he was for Teen Wolf’s new social TV activation, we knew this project would be a big one for the network. The network announced “The Hunt,” a Facebook-infused scripted social storyline for the second season of their hit scripted show, and we quickly uncovered that SocialSamba was powering it. The Hunt launched this week in sync with the season premiere, set to captivate any Wolf fan with a Facebook account. We spoke with Executive Producer Jeff Davis and MTV executives about this massive collaboration.

Lost Remote: Why do you think social TV is important?

Jeff Davis: More than ever TV is becoming a social medium. Through Facebook, Twitter and other sites, people can share their experiences of watching TV at the same time. In a way it’s similar to the “community of emotion” we find at movie theaters. The excitement of plot twists and turns, romance, scares and thrills, all of it is now a shared event. It makes the show an elevated experience. Instead of just talking about it the next day at school or at work, people can talk about it while they’re watching, experiencing it together. Doing something like The Hunt is a way of extending that social element beyond just the 41 minutes of programming.

LR: Why did you create extra content for The Hunt?

Davis: We wanted to give our fans a story that both complimented Teen Wolf and added new layers. We’re always trying to give fans more content, more ways to interact with their favorite characters and stories.

LR: Why is social media important for Teen Wolf fans?

Davis: Teen Wolf fans want to experience more of the show. They always seem to want more. I get hit with requests to make more episodes all the time on Twitter. The Hunt is another way to bring the audience new stories for an audience that loves to be entertained, an audience dying for new content all of the time. I personally think TV has never been better. There’s so many good shows out there and so much good entertainment to be had, people want to share the experience.

MTV’s “Storytelling Without Borders” and why they launched The Hunt:

The network’s official anthem has gone beyond extending a show’s social media strategy for a few months. Kristin Frank, GM of Digital Media for MTV described that. “There are these false confines that exist around season and episodes that end,” Frank described. “It doesn’t mean that fans stop being fans, in fact it’s just the opposite,” she added.

Teen Wolf was the perfect show to launch a second storyline, especially with their intense fan base. “It’s the perfect fan base – it’s the first show that we’ve had in the first season get to a million fans,” Frank described. One example of these passionate fan groups was rap video creating “Wolf Pack Girls” who even got to go down to Atlanta and make a video with the cast. “If you’re a fan of this show, good things are going to happen to you,” Frank told Lost Remote.

How The Hunt works:

Built on SocialSamba’s technology The Hunt, lives only within the Facebook. “In this experience, we have a created a character for you,” Danielle Garre, supervising producer for MTV Digital described. “That nice thing of this graphic,” the student ID card, “it is pulling in your profile from Facebook,” she added. “This immediately calls out to you and says this is a personalized experience…pulls you into the story out of the gate..the same as the tone of the show.”

As each week of the show goes on you will continue to have the opportunity to join in on this scripted social TV storyline. Based on your responses to the different characters, you’ll head down different paths of the story. “The bigger mystery will play out over the full eight weeks,” that the show is on, MTV Digital’s Executive Producer Tom Akel described. “You will occasionally have touch points with the linear show,” he added.

Throughout The Hunt, fans will have access to numerous pieces of exclusive content that was filmed for this social TV experience on set with the talent. “We spent an entire weekend shooting, each actor has given us about three assets,” Garre described.

Marketing The Hunt across traditional and social mediums:

MTV’s also pulling out all the stops for a complete 360 campaign to get the word out about The Hunt. We spoke about the launch of season two with Tina Exarhos Executive Vice President of Marketing and Multi-Platform Creative for MTV, MTV2 mtvU and

“We thought what can we do to really engage fans – knowing how enthusiastic and engaged the fans are,” Exarhos described. “We thought what additional content can we give them to play around with, basically thinking about 52 weeks of the year and what that would look like,” she added about their marketing strategy.

Exarhos also described how they’re using traditional media to get the word out as well as the season continues. “We are also really focused on ‘traditional media’ – promos on air and significant digital buys.” She added that, “I just started looking at radio and TV spots that will be focused on The Hunt.”

MTV has proven that they can innovate and work cohesively across departments, especially when putting fans first.