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Hijack the movie premiere: how Tommy turned a Netflix premiere into a Twitch horror tale

Tommy won the ‘Event Production of the Year’ category at The Drum Awards for Experience with its work for Netflix. This next-level immersive experience involved getting influencers to do what they do best – posting on social – with a livestreamed horror spectacular controlled by the audience on Twitch. Here, the team behind this innovative entry explains how the idea came to life.

For the premiere of Netflix’s summer blockbuster Blood Red Sky, we built an airport in the middle of Berlin and lured influencers there with all the things they love; photo-ops, themed-cocktails, small food, more photo-ops. We then invited them onto the actual plane from the movie to watch the film.

They didn't know we had rigged the place with CCTV and live-streamed the whole thing on Twitch where 100,000 horror fans hijacked the flight. From setting off alarms, oxygen masks, smashing trays of drinks, nosebleeds, fights, drug tests and vampire attacks; the whole story was chosen and voted on by a live audience watching at home. When influencers get scared, they post; generating over 150 pieces of content and over 3m views in three hours, turning the tired film premiere concept into a live horror movie.

Objective

The challenge was simple from Netflix; create a campaign that would get people talking about a film with a modest German cast that wasn’t based on a comic book series or videogame! It was all about reach and awareness; how do we reach and entertain this film’s potential audience?

Strategy

In the spirit of our client changing the film industry forever, we thought we’d reboot the film premiere… rather than let our audience read about last night’s event in the daily paper, could we create an experience people wanted to watch and actively participate in?

The source material was a good start. Blood Red Sky; Netflix’s latest action thriller set on a hijacked plane… so why not hijack the premiere? Who better to hijack than a plane-load of influencers; we’ve watched them post from Dubai while we were in lockdown, they were due a scare or two to bring them back down to earth.

We let 100,000 horror fans on Twitch hijack the premiere - live. And when influencers turn up to film premieres that get hijacked, they post, post, post; in turn creating a second stream of live media coverage that reached a huge audience far larger than those few column inches on page 14 of your daily paper.

So what did we do? To lure the influencers to our premiere we built an airport in the middle of Berlin and loaded it with all the things influencers need; themed cocktails, photo opportunities, small food and a film premiere set onboard the actual plane from the flight. And we mean an airport! Influencers moved through full security, checked in, chatted in the waiting area, checked their flight on a real departure board and queued to board. We even created full brand guidelines for our fictional airline’s executive lounge; right down to the toilet sign.

Just using the plane from the actual sounds easy, but we moved it 300km from Prague and employed a huge 100+ crew to build it in a week; rigging 100,000+ lights, a fully functioning cockpit and cinema-quality screens for every row. Everything was designed to make our influencers share!

What they didn’t know was the plane was rigged with CCTV cameras and the entire flight crew was actors… As they boarded, we live-streamed the whole thing from world renowned streamer H0llyLP’s Twitch account and invited him and his fans to, well, hijack the flight. They voted on what happened next to the passengers on board, turning a film premiere into a live horror movie. Using a Twitch plugin that allows fans to vote in real-time they set fire alarms off, dropped oxygen masks, demanded drug tests, started fights, smashed champagne glasses and chose people to be attacked by vampires and dragged off the flight.

Results

They jumped, screamed, turned on each other - and they posted. In under three hours our guests had posted over 150 pieces of content that were seen by over 3 million people across social. This wasn’t only a live horror movie watched and created by 100,000 fans on Twitch, this horror movie played out across social from 50 perspectives, generating double the coverage of Berlin’s most popular newspaper.

Blood Red Sky went on to become #1 on Netflix in Germany, UK, US and 54 other countries and the activation only cemented Netflix’s position at the very center of pop culture.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Experience. To find out more, including which competitions are currently open for entry, visit The Drum Awards website.

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