Fans of MTV’s ‘Teen Wolf’ are passionate beyond belief. In fact, MTV recently hired Kaitlyn Vella as a social media editor based on ‘Teen Wolf’ recap rap songs she posted to YouTube. Kaitlyn is 21 years old.
On Monday night’s episode, a popular ‘Teen Wolf’ character, Allison Argent (played by Crystal Reed), met her death. In anticipation of the outpouring of response to Argent’s death, MTV launched TeenWolfMemorial.com as a place for fans to mourn.
The site allows fans to upload videos expressing their feelings about Argent’s death, and MTV plans to share the best submissions across social. It also features exclusive content, and eulogies and curated tweets from other cast members.
Many networks focus their efforts on building buzz just before a new season of a show or a new episode, but MTV has found success with a year-round approach.
“Fan engagement is “always on” at MTV,” Tom Fishman, VP Content Marketing and Fan Engagement for MTV, told Lost Remote. “We’re engaging our audiences before, during and after an episode, just like we engage them before, during and after a season. And our strategies in each of those phases are built around going above and beyond to deliver the absolute best content and experiences at the right times. After an event like Allison Argent character’s death, this was the experience we wanted to bring to our fans. Something powerful, something they’d never seen before, something uniquely Teen Wolf and MTV.”
Social reaction to shocking events in scripted shows isn’t a new concept, but it came to a fore during last season’s Game of Thrones episode, ‘The Rains of Castamere,’ more commonly known as ‘The Red Wedding.’ The episode was mentioned 1.5 million times on Facebook while it was airing, and that’s out of 5.2 million total viewers.
When Lost Remote asked Fishman whether the social reaction to the Game of Thrones ‘Red Wedding’ episode was a cue that ‘Teen Wolf’ fans would react similarly to Allison Argent’s death, he responded, “Absolutely. That’s one of several events we’ve seen across top notch scripted programming recently where a deeply passionate fan base really expressed a lot of emotion.”
“It was instantaneous, it was raw, it was creative, and it was happening everywhere, across all platforms,” Fishman continued. “That’s where we saw an opportunity to do something special for Teen Wolf fans — we know our fans will express themselves how they want to and where they want to, but we felt if we could provide a place to aggregate the full impact of that emotion, and then layer in video and cast reactions that spoke to that emotion head on while providing another avenue for expression in the form of the fan eulogies, that it would really strengthen their bond with each other and with the show. And we’re happy to say that’s exactly what we saw. Many expressed sadness, some anger, most were shocked. Empowering that expression is a fundamental pillar to MTV’s fan engagement strategy.”
So far, MTV’s strategy with TeenWolfMemorial.com has paid off. In the four days since the episode aired, the site has received 200,000 visitors, and more than 7,500 fan eulogies posted to the page. The URL for the site has been shared to Twitter over 10,000 times.