consulting / digital / VISUAL
The Vikings
world premiere
on TV-3

TV-3 was the first to air the fourth season
of the cult drama series The Vikings,
and we've conducted
a social media campaign to promote it.
In January 2017 Russian viewers were the first to see the fourth season end credits of the cult Canadian-Irish TV series The Vikings: medieval madness, Francs vs. Normanns, Jesus vs. Odin, Valhalla, Valkyries, incest and human sacrifices, torture and executions, the siege of Paris and the devastation of Britannia. We've helped the Russians to make sense out of this mess.
In 2013 History Channel launched The Vikings, a stunning experimental drama series produced and written by Michael Hirst, the creator of The Borgias and The Tudors. This super successful show is now getting its seventh season with 8,7 IMDb user rating as #32 on the list of the best series of all time. The local broadcast rights holders, TV-3 (JSC Gazprom-Media Holding) approached us to conduct a social media campaign in support of the show.
The Vikings, Official Teaser
We had to solve two issues. Firstly, for loyal TV-3 consumers The Vikings could be an unconventional product. Apart from just being brutal, violent and realistic it also expects a certain awareness of the depicted historic period. Secondly, the local fan audience would most likely just stream or torrent the show without turning on the TV. So how to gather our two audiences in front of one screen?

The Vikings, TV-3 Official Russian Trailer
Our goals and objectives
1
Goal
To get the broad social media coverage for the premiere and to attract
the maximum amount of viewers..
2
Prep the audience
We had to sell the unconventional show to TV-3 consumers.
3
Attract new viewers
We had to get The Vikings fans,
history enthusiasts and movie goers
to turn on their TVs..
4
Lure the men
TV-3 audience is mostly comprised of female viewers. We had to target the men to fix the disparity.
5
Pump it up
We had to level up TV-3 social media accounts in terms of quality and quantity of content.
How it all went down
Our strategy and content concept
How to get our two so distinct audiences to watch the broadcast? We've decided to assemble a compelling showcase of content related to real-life vikings and The Vikings universe and to broadcast it on social media. A collection of texts, inforgaphics, images, video, stickers for online messengers et al. with working title Midgard: The Complete Guide to Vikings was assembled to deeper involve viewers with the universe of the show. This social media stream of content complemented the main storyline with additional materials to further catch viewers' attention, to fuel up the hype between the episodes and to engage more users with the network's social media accounts.

Midgard: The Complete Guide to Vikings included a large variety of content on the history and culture of real-life life vikings and on fictional adventures of the show's protagonists.

Our target marketing specialists worked hard to achieve rapid viral effect. Finally TV-3 viewers gradually got into the Medieval spirit of things and The Vikings fans finally turned on their TVs. In the end, more than 22,000,000 people (which is around 15% of Russia's population) got to see the show.
Social media campaign
Midgard: The Complete Guide to Vikings was broadcast as targeted ads and on TV-3 social media accounts. It was also promoted in social media communities specializing in history, movies and The Vikings fandom.

The campaign engaged with more than 10,000,000 target users and gave a 24% increase (30,000 users) in subscribers to the network's social media accounts.
Interactivity and special features
Interactive features are always popular with the audience.

During the 12-hour non-stop Saturday screenings we ran an active online chat. Historical reenactment experts, historians of Medieval costume and weaponry were giving live commentary through the network's social media accounts while answering questions online.

The True Viking photo contest required from users to post vikings-themed selfies with a specific hashtag in attempts to win the grand prix – a trip to a Copenhagen Medieval fair.
The Vikings in numbers
5,1%
rating on TV placing
The Vikings among the five top-rated shows in Russia
22 000 000
(15% of Russia's population) watched the show on TV
> 10 000 000
social media users during the two months of the campaign
> 30 000
additional TV-3
social media subscribers
(+24% of all subscribers)

Client
TV-3
JSC Gazprom-Media Holding
Year
2016–2017
Services
Digital
Social Media
Advertisement
Graphic design
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