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Future of TV Scream Vast Media

MTV pulls off 'Scream Live' stunt in anticipation of new season

By Nicole Greiner, Research Analyst

May 23, 2016 | 6 min read

Nicole Greiner is a research analyst at VAST MEDIA, a media research and consulting company based in Berlin that provides international television industry leaders with qualitative competitive market analysis of digital entertainment and content marketing.

Vast Media

On Friday, May 13th, MTV's marketing team managed to pull off a '#ScreamLIVE' stunt that had "Scream" fans in for a big surprise. The live event encouraged fans to tune into the show's social channels on Facebook, YouTube and Periscope for a live-streamed Q&A with cast member Tom Maden and the exclusive premiere of the first seven minutes of season two (which will premiere on May 30th). The feed was interrupted by a masked murderer on the loose, who went on a 15-minute killing spree. To script and choreograph this small live horror film production, MTV teamed up with CS Global.

At the end of the short live horror film, the masked murderer got a hold of the streaming device and revealed her identity to the internet. At the culmination of the '#ScreamLIVE' stunt, MTV finally unveiled the first seven minutes of "Scream" season two. The stunt caused lots of social buzz over the weekend, making the innovative promo initiative a success for MTV. Found Remote interviewed Matt McDonough, Director of Digital Strategy and Fan Engagement for MTV about the big campaign.

Found Remote: What were the main digital/social activations for the new season of Scream?

Matt McDonough: Just like everyone else on the internet in 2016, we’re all about live. So Scream Live on Friday the 13th was a huge focus of the digital campaign for Season 2, as well as launching the trailer on Facebook Live, and making sure that every part of our marketing felt as real time as possible. We’re doing a lot more throughout the season – including a very exciting 360/VR partnership that will happen in-season – and everything has a factor of immediacy that fits with the current trends in digital media. One of my favorite pieces of digital content this season is a video series called If I Die, where have each character recording a video on their laptop to be release posthumously in the event that they reach an untimely demise. It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s a nice little throwback to Randy Meeks’ video in Scream 3. They were also written by the social coordinator on the show, Amanda Frey, who now knows the show so well she’s qualified to write for it.

FR: How did Scream Live come about? Was it a success?

MM: What’s great about MTV's campaigns is that they come together through a lot of different groups. The writer’s room for the promotional campaign is a blend of different departments and stakeholders, so the concepts that come out are naturally multi-platform, and serve many purposes. Scream Live was based on the notion that while NBC and Fox are broadcasting live musicals – we could take a theatrical approach and broadcast a live horror movie on platforms that are inherently live to begin with. We partnered with a phenomenal agency, CS Global, who worked closely with us to ensure that there was the right amount of humor and gore, and put together something that really is the first of its kind. It generated the biggest spike in chatter that we’ve seen so far in this campaign and generated as much or more social chatter than some of the linear premieres from Season 1, which is a big win for us.

FR: How have the cast been involved for the new season?

MM: We’ve found so many fun ways to incorporate the cast into our marketing, and they’re absolutely game. It’s great working with such a young and talented group of people that uses social media in their everyday lives – we’ve never had to explain what a Vine Takeover means, or how to log into the @MTVScream twitter account. One of the most fun things about a Season 2 is that we’re able to use the popularity of the actors’ themselves, in addition to their characters.

FR: How important is reaching people on digital for the show?

MM: I might be biased, because reaching people on digital is my job at MTV – but finding Scream an audience online is something that’s extremely important to all of us. There’s an opportunity to reach people who may not be thinking of MTV as the preeminent destination for horror on television (people who aren't caught up on Teen Wolf), and remind them of what a truly eclectic network we’ve become.

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