For Driving Viewership, There’s No Place like Gnome
Gnomes have an interesting existence: If they’re not popping up in vacation photos, they’re being kidnapped from our neighbors’ yards. A&E leveraged our fascination with the little guys for its Shipping Wars Launch-Influencer Tour. The cable network strapped a 60-foot gnome wrapped in shipping tape to the back of a truck and set out on a cross-country tour to create buzz for the premiere of its series, “Shipping Wars.”
To amplify the program, A&E added an engaging online component led by its chief influencer Jonathan, a singer and a social media maven with more than 130,000 Twitter followers. In addition to posting teasers on Twitter about the gnome’s whereabouts, Jonathan kept a journal on Tumblr and inspired people to talk to him and take pictures with the gnome.
A&E also created daily contests for the social media-verse, Tweeting conversation starters like “Tell me your favorite gnome pun #shippingwars” or “If you could keep the gnome, where would you put it? #gnomie.” Thousands participated each day, resulting in millions of impressions. The tour achieved a cumulative 17 million impressions over 10 days. On two different days during the tour, the hashtag #shippingwars trended globally on Twitter for hours. And more than three million viewers tuned in to watch the premiere.