Cannes Lions

Guilty Party: A Multi-Platform Mystery Series That Redefines The Narrative Model

FULLSCREEN, Los Angeles / AT&T / 2018

Presentation Image
Case Film
Presentation Image

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

Cozy. Cared for. Understood. Connected. These are all things you feel when you experience something that was made specifically for you.

Generation Z increasingly seeks entertainment experiences that let them immerse themselves in the story and align with their passions. But while young male consumers have plenty of narrative video games designed to satisfy this urge, female Gen Zers have been noticeably left behind.

Even though girls like Ashley were attempting to connect the dots themselves through gaming and social media extensions of their favorite shows, there was a massive white space for interactive narratives tailored to a young, diverse female audience.

Our idea was to fill this white space by designing a groundbreaking original series where young female viewers were invited to play along with the story in real time. Enter Guilty Party, an interactive YA mystery for the social media generation where the fans are the detectives.

Execution

Over the course of ten weeks, Guilty Party invited fans to play detective and piece together the mystery across nine YouTube episodes, 61 videos, and on over 38 social channels with more than 1,600 pieces of custom content. We formed private DM groups where we dropped secret clues for our super-sleuths and created a functioning blog where fans could submit their own theories.

All season, we carefully listened to our audience and had real conversations about topics that were close to their hearts. And, to show them that we were listening, we incorporated some of their own comments into the show’s most pivotal moments.

To close out the season, we hosted a live event where fans cosplayed as students in our show, scavenger-hunting for final clues on social media and then coming together for an in-world, inclusive homecoming celebration.

Outcome

The Ashleys of the world went crazy for our content—in just ten weeks, Guilty Party accumulated 65 million views, 351 million impressions, and 39 million engagements.

With our organic YouTube engagement rate 5.7 times the industry standard, fans more than simply liked our content: they wrote paragraph-long apologies to characters for misjudging them, shared their own vulnerable experiences, and formed support groups. Fans said our diverse cast of influencers, including black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ actors, allowed them to finally see themselves on screen.

Our finale’s comment section overflowed with fans celebrating Guilty Party’s immersive approach, and explicitly thanking AT&T for creating “the future of tv.”

We’d love to share every comment, but Serenity S. summed them up pretty well:

“God I love this so much. An interactive series where you take place in the story and you talk to the characters! Guilty Party has been an amazing experience...Bravo.”

Similar Campaigns

12 items

This Must Be The Future

DUMMY., Los angeles

This Must Be The Future

2017, AT&T

(opens in a new tab)