Cannes Lions

13 Reasons Why Finstagrams

HI5.AGENCY, Burbank / NETFLIX / 2019

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Case Film
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Coming off one of the most engaging season 1 campaigns in the history of streaming, we were posed with a simple challenge: how do we double down on mobilizing our massive 13 Reasons Why fanbase in a way that's truly unique?

The answer: tap into our audience, teenagers, behavior to create secret Instagram accounts called Finstagrams to develop a truly unique experience designed for the natural consumption habits of our viewers.


We wanted to extend the narrative of the series in an authentic, innovative, and immersive way that brought our fans into the world of 13 Reasons Why. A series of in-world accounts let us simultaneously engage fans, highlight our talent, and kickstart conversation around what Season 2 would bring.

All of the content posted within each Finstagram had a specific look, feel, and tone that perfectly aligned with that character’s personality. Posts maintain the natural aesthetic that our target demo - teens - are used to seeing from their friends, blending into their feeds just enough to avoid coming across as ‘markety,’ while still highlighting the show’s best-known talent.


Since 52% of our Gen Z audience is on Instagram daily, the platform needed to play a vital role. Moreover, because the brands our audience follows must feel authentic and relevant, our executions needed to avoid feeling like marketing at all costs. And since Instagram is where our audience crafts their individuality by sharing images and videos that they feel express themselves - our social strategy had to mirror that behavior.

Combining all of what we knew about our audience came the idea of the Finstagrams. They ticked all of our audience boxes: they were housed on Instagram where half of them spend their time, felt authentic by staying in-world, shared exclusives by teasing easter eggs about season 2, stayed relevant by constantly putting our famous talents faces front and center, and expanded the world of the series and the individuality of each character to life through expert curation.


We crafted 11 unique and robust accounts that brought each fan favorite character to life through over 350 carefully curated in-tone photos, captions, and IG stories from a special shoot with talent. Each account was filled over a few months to accurately mimic a timeline of events as if our characters were posting in real-time and knowing that it's now common practice for 16-18 year olds to archive old photos, our accounts maintained the average of 20-25 photos in feed. Every feed was filled with easter eggs and allusions to both known and upcoming events from the series.


Our 11 Finstagrams have accumulated an amazing 3.6M total followers, over 2M total engagements, and over 1.4M total IG Story views without any paid media support or account verification - making this a truly fan-owned initiative.

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