It’s 1:00 A.M. on a Friday night. All your friends are out drinking. Without you. Your parents are, as your father told you on the crappy phone connection, “mumble mumble Estonia mumble your life savings.” Your neighbors are playing loud music which can only be described as angst death cat metal or something ever so tempting like that. The love of your life is non-existent or with a person you hate. Lastly, your dog was so bored of you that it ran away. However, you are wasting away your night scrolling through Facebook. But is it a waste? Hark! Something catches your eye and you grab your mouse. With a slight grin, you press that greasy piece of sad technology. *Click* It’s 3:00 A.M. and you have no idea what happened. Really, you know exactly what happened. You found yourself amidst an engaging social media campaign.
Social Media campaigns are everywhere and it makes sense. According to Pew Research Center, approximately 76% of internet users in the United States use social media. That is about 250 million people. That is a quite a big boat. However, even with that large number of people, it still is difficult to successfully make a connection with that audience. Olive Garden (or “all of garden”) can’t just create an account on Twitter and hope that the bread sticks just start rolling in right away.
Nope, they need to be engaging.
I bet you saw my title and wondered if the lack of sleep is finally getting to you. Well, it’s not. Or it is. I don’t know in your case, but “Wubba Lubb Dub Dub” is 100% the phrase you are seeing. Where is this from you ask? That is easily answered if you reread the title one more time: Rick and Morty. This Adult Swim exclusive show has done a wonderful job with its social media campaign. Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland do not stray from their success. Their campaigning has a simple but effective goal: sell their brand. By brand, I mean their image as a whole and oh boy, did they do so.
The show is an animated comedy show with elements of science fiction. It has lots of moments where you have no idea what to think, but that is the beauty. The creators don’t care what you think and created a great show with a huge following. The biggest problem, however, is that they have to take a long hiatus between seasons for untold reasons so they have to keep their loyal audience. How? How in the world do they keep an audience for a year and half development process? Let’s go digging!
First, we’ll step into their Facebook page where I think the best examples of their engagement is seen. The page is constantly updated with posts that deal with some sort of announcement for the show, but that’s not where it shines in terms of engagement. It shines within the comment section. The administrators of the page have the freedom to reply to fans in a way which seems completely unprofessional. Nevertheless, this is where they keep current. Look at these examples that I have here. Forewarning though, NSFW language is present so use caution. Here are the links. These replies feed the people with what the brand is. A bunch of no cares who have some sort of attitude. This is what their audience wants, this is what they need. Overall, their use of humor throughout Facebook has made their page less of a nuisance and more of an actual place to find yourself interacting.
Next, let’s look at Instagram. Oh, boring you might think. Everyone has an Instagram blah blah blah. But wait, Dan and Justin really did something crazy. Take a look at this.
An Instagram game made to work and be extremely interactive. Who knew! It’s an amazing tactic that I haven’t seen before. You can travel all over this well detailed world of Rick and Morty and every little bit of it is great. There is even a Tamagotchi type game in there that you can play. It’s actually really well thought out and found it one of the best ways I have ever seen someone use Instagram as a platform. The most intriguing aspect of using Instagram is that they continue with their consistency. By continuing with their attitude with full force, the message is still the same: “we don’t care and you know you love it.” All I have to say is well done Adult Swim with your budget and professionals. It still works if want to check it out. It is really neat.
Lastly, let’s take a step back for the craziness. Maybe you see that they are funny but isn’t enough. You feel almost like there isn’t any humanity in these guys and they are only in it for the money. You’ll be happy to know that you are kind of right, but they are nice guys too. By partnering with (RED), a very well-known anti-AIDS charity, they show they are more than just creators. By offering a part in their show as well as selling off some items like original art work or specially made items, they show that they care. They have heavily pushed this on every platform they run. Showing this humanity makes you love this show even more.
In reality, they have done much more to spread their awareness. From doing a Hardee’s commercial to being part of a Simpson’s couch gag, they show their awareness to advertising. They even created a mobile game that has been very well received. Nevertheless, it’s their use of conversation, interactivity, and humanity that they not only retain their audience, they engage them.
If you would like to learn more, just watch the show. It’s free online. Go. Right now. Seriously.