As most Teen Wolf lovers know, just watching the show's episodes on TV or online doesn’t nearly cut it. You need to chat with other fans. You need to tweet about it, watch preview clips of some of the dreamy cast members or even make videos about the show.
Of course, it would be even better if you could actually talk to some of the characters in between episodes. And maybe they’d become your friend, and even ask you to help in some of their quests. Sound like a dream? Perhaps. But MTV is looking to channel that Teen Wolf passion starting this week with the launch of The Hunt, an eight-week game/social experience on Facebook featuring original content as well as storylines tied to the show.
With The Hunt, MTV is aiming a lot higher than the typical social TV offshoot. For one thing, the show’s creator, Jeff Davis, has been heavily involved in crafting the game's content. Plus, the experience is designed to make fans feel like they are characters in the series, not just hyper-engaged viewers.
When they log in, users can create a profile (their character supposedly works in the principal’s office of the school Teen Wolf attends), and then engage in virtual, Facebook-styled chats with the show’s leads (or at least their virtual representations). The show’s creative team has also produced a dozen or so original video clips as well, including "voicemails" and short personal video messages from the show’s characters.
“It’s very millennial,” said Kristin Frank, general manager of digital media at MTV/VH1. “Viewers feel like they are best friends with the characters.”
Initially, users will be sent on a series of tasks tied to the opening episode of Season 2, which premiered on Sunday. Eventually, they’ll be able to choose which characters to align with (the bad-guy wolf hunters or the good guys), and will embark on an entirely original plot line and series of tasks and challenges (like say, deleting an incriminating security video which might reveal the existence of werewolves in the show’s fictional town).
The Hunt has also been designed with urgency in mind. If fans don’t return frequently, the game’s content will have progressed. In other words, if you don’t visit often, you’ll miss something.
“The Hunt is really an example of our overall strategy of storytelling without borders,” said Danielle Garre, supervising producer, MTV digital. “Our audience is very active and engaged, and they are demanding this sort of bridge content between episodes. We’re looking to be better at this than anyone else.”
MTV has yet to incorporate any advertisers into The Hunt, hoping to first get the product off the ground and allow it to build an audience. But Garre noted that it would be easy to imagine a number of opportunities for future digital product placement. And while the Hunt was built for Teen Wolf’s unique fan base and mythology-driven content, Frank said that plans are in the works to bring this kind of treatment to other MTV series, including the scripted Awkward. “We have to always be programming all these different platforms,” Frank said.