Following Mistress’ success for AT&T/DirectTV’s series Kingdom and ICE, the network once again tapped Mistress to launch its most coveted 2017 property Mr. Mercedes: the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s latest masterpiece. The series is a cat and mouse thriller about emotionally disturbed serial killer, Brady Hartsfield and retired cop, Detective Hodges. As the strategic, creative and paid media lead on the account, Mistress’ approach was equally cunning: get inside fans’ heads to create a highly engaged and powerful audience for the series’ first season. To do this, we leveraged the all-star cast line up including Brendan Gleeson, Harry Treadaway and Mary Louise Parker, played off the book’s existing cult following, and generally went full psychopath on new followers. In the end, Mistress created 400 pieces of highly shareable original content across all channels and built a very vocal and engaged audience base.
The Creepy Highlights
Not only did Mistress unleash its inner dark side to make fans more than just a little uncomfortable, the disturbingly creative social campaign helped get Mr. Mercedes picked up for a second season.
Chatting With A Psycho
In the Mr. Mercedes series, resident psychopath Brady Hartsfield, daylights as an IT Support technician. Therefore it only seemed natural to create a real-time IT Chatbot as a hook for Brady to get inside fans’ heads and leak additional character layers. But faking it wasn’t going to cut it with our whip-smart fans, we had to do this for real. So Mistress developed a Facebook Messenger Chatbot and accompanying promotional campaign for users to talk with Brady Hartsfield. The bot let users talk one-on-one with the sadistic serial killer, led them to terrifying easter eggs, and included voyeuristic spy cams. Once the viewer was hooked and engaged with the Bot, it doubled as a direct line of communication to remind fans to tune-in to the Audience Network on Wednesday nights.
Partners In Crime
Both Stephen King and Audience Network own other properties with passionate fan bases. To drive cross-programming, we created custom assets (read: creepy personalized posts) that used the iconic Mr. Mercedes ice cream theme.
Social taskforce activations were also deployed for Stephen King’s IT and The Dark Tower premieres. The taskforce eerily engaged King fans with GIF content and mysterious posts that lured them back to the Mr. Mercedes social handles.
The Creepiest Craigslist Post of All Time
Diehard fans know Brady stalks his fans through a high tech remote control called Thing One. In an out-of-the-box and off-platform social stunt, Mistress acted as Brady on Craigslist and listed Thing One as for sale. Of course, Brady had no desire to sell it—he simply wanted to play with people’s minds. For one day, our community management team tapped into their inner Brady and managed the Craigslist account answering fan’s questions directly via Craigslist.
Reaction GIFs With A Psycho Twist
For the launch of Mr. Mercedes, we created a suite of custom reaction GIFs and used them to stir conversation on and off our owned platforms. Timed around episodic peaks and cultural moments, the GIFS dramatically increased engagement and following on our channels. Additionally, we added the GIFs to GIPHY and reached over 45.7M views.