After our initial strategic audit and interview with Freeform’s marketing/production team, we formulated the conceptual structure of the Shadowhunters experience. Several experiences would be architected for viewers and fans to explore, providing value and encouraging acceptance of both the site and the story. Shareable social media assets would allow fans to start a conversation through the platform, and a flexible framework could accommodate future content as episodes air. As fans perspective revolves around multiple points of entry, we carefully mapped out each experience within current Freeform’s content ecosystem (TV Everywhere, cross devices website and Tie-in experience ) to optimize their marketing strategy.
During the collaborative process with Freeform, we landed on two experiences that will embrace the character development as the show unfolds the narrative.
Start a conversation—The Shadow Tarot
We endeavoured to use creative technologies to build a platform for fans to continuously engage with the series as it aired. Each episode has its own feed of related assets and media, providing us with a great library of content to drive engagement during and after air dates.
Our first interactive experience was inspired directly from the show’s plot—where protagonist Clary Fray retrieves a hidden weapon from a deck of magical tarot cards. From this idea, The Shadow Tarot was born. We received a set of beautiful tarot drawings from Freeform, and brought them to life on our digital platform. The interactive cards encourage Shadowhunters fans to have their fortune read (just like Shadowhunters’ beloved characters) and share their results on social media.
A continuously living framework–Map The Shadows
Following the success of The Shadow Tarot, Freeform was excited to expand the online world of the TV series. An ideal extension would educate & introduce the world to new viewers while feeding existing franchise super-fans. It would also provide a guide to the show for engaged audiences, and keep those users engaged between seasons to provide Ad Sale and sponsorships opportunities.
We created a Shadowhunters map that allowed users to explore content geographically by diving into locations that characters in the show frequented—as if they were exploring a real-time map of the Shadowhunter’s world dropped squarely on top of New York City.
Throughout the series, subsets of locations are visited by each of show’s core species. For example, shadowhunters attend the Institute, vampires like to hang out at the Dumort Hotel, and werewolves hang out at the Jade Wolf chinese food restaurant. As users dive into each location, they can see both content that’s related to that location and the species that you might find there.
Each location on the map has a light visual treatment to reflect the location’s look and feel in the show. As characters explore these portals, there are occasionally opportunities to pull back the curtain and see more behind the scenes content.