Extreme fishing show ‘River Monsters with Jeremy Wade’ balances entertainment with myth-busting factual content to offer a unique angle on the wildlife documentary format.
The show’s fast-paced approach combined with Jeremy’s angling experience gives it a broad appeal, whilst remaining credible with fishing fans. This unique formula has attracted an enthusiastic and evangelical online fan base which, until recently, has been solely cultivated by River Monsters’ US TV network – Animal Planet.
To tie-in with the January 2012 launch of Series 3 on ITV, Icon Films were keen to capitalise on existing online buzz around the show by launching a UK-focused social media presence that would also serve to support the PR campaign carried out by Spirit PR.
With lead times a challenge, we chose to focus solely on Twitter and (working alongside Spirit PR) launched the UK-specific profile @RiverMonstersUK. Twitter also offered an opportunity to interact with fans in real-time during each episode, spread positive word-of-mouth about the show while it was being broadcast and recruit new viewers for the following week.
As expected, UK buzz around the show grew week-on-week. By regularly identifying and connecting with people who were talking about River Monsters we quickly built a fan community on Twitter and maintained River Monsters-related conversation as the series rolled out.
By the end of the 8 week campaign we had organically built a network of over 2000 Followers, including existing fans, journalists, bloggers and ITV viewers new to the show.
To ensure we were offering something extra to fans (a reason to engage) we regularly interacted live on Twitter during the show. These live chats featured guest spots from the crew, additional insights supporting Jeremy’s commentary about each species and location, plus exclusive give-aways during key episodes.
We also seeded exclusive teaser video clips, generating a regular stream of re-tweets in the lead up to each new episode. PR activity was supported where-ever possible by connecting with bloggers and media, thanking them publicly for support and linking to their coverage.
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive with fans, media, fishing enthusiasts and bloggers alike pleased to see the show had an official presence on Twitter and pro-actively joining the conversation. The result was over 1000 direct @mentions and retweets across the campaign, with hundreds more fans using the #rivermonsters hashtag and talking indirectly about the show during each episode.
Icon Films now have an engaged, UK-specific community of River Monsters fans on Twitter that can be used as a spring-board to promote future series.
Note: React Adapt provides specialist social media support to Spirit PR for a range of their clients (including Icon Films), offering strategic advice, social media management and training.