Cannes Lions

Writing With Grace: A Cross-Platform Branded Writing Workshop

FULLSCREEN BRANDWORKS, Los Angeles / AT&T / 2017

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Overview

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Overview

Description

We collaborated with Grace and came up with a social experiment: crowd-source a novella with her fans. To execute Writing With Grace, we teamed up with the emerging social platform, Wattpad. One of the fastest growing social media platforms, Wattpad is dedicated to users working together to workshop their writing and read upcoming writers primarily through their mobile phones.

Grace wrote the first and last chapters of the novella, and her fans wrote everything in between, with the help of her weekly YouTube and Wattpad prompts. Called, Freak Week, the novella was a satire of every Young Adult book ever. Every week, the story was updated with a new chapter, in which the fans created evil villains, made emotions rain down, and hacked the solar system. The writing workshop culminated in one final fan experience: a live-read at VidCon, the world’s biggest YouTube convention.

Execution

The first-ever celebrity influencer writing contest on Wattpad, "Writing with Grace" invited fans to collaborate on a novella, Freak Week. Grace wrote Chapter One, posted it to Wattpad, and handed the narrative to her superfans. They wrote chapters 2–7 with the help of Grace’s weekly prompts, tips, and rules, which she communicated on YouTube and her other social platforms. Each week, Grace dissected the week’s fan contributions (some of which were more than 1,500 words) and offered feedback to the runners up on YouTube. There was also the opportunity to submit fan art and participate in social activations. Writers from all of over the globe submitted chapters for the chance to have Grace read their freaky words. We raised the stakes further by promising a live read at VidCon which was attended by more than 3,000 fans making it the most attended event in the history of VidCon.

Outcome

Behaving natively and inclusively helped Freak Week become the most-read U.S. story in Wattpad history, exceeding “read” benchmarks by 33 times the target amount.

The story has ultimately accumulated more than 340,000 reads, meaning that fans spent more than 634,000 minutes reading Freak Week, a feat that resulted in the novella reaching the #1 spot on Wattpad's general fiction hot list. Grace’s fan’s read Freak Week, but even better, they eagerly shared it across their social platforms, resulting in more than 24 million impressions.

What’s more is that this was a social experiment in partnership with AT&T. Not only did fans embrace the brand’s presence, they recognized AT&T as an innovative partner the stakeholder that made this all possible. In a nutshell: We created a branded program that inspired Gen Z and Millennial fans to do homework that they genuinely loved.

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