TIFF TIM BURTON for Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF)

TIFF TIM BURTON

Pin to Collection
Add a note
Industry Shows, Events & Festivals
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: TIFF
Product/Service: FILM FESTIVAL
Media placement: Social Media And Web - Twitter - 22 November 2010

Summary of the Campaign
The TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) recently opened a state-of-the-art film and exhibit space in downtown Toronto. Our mission was to quickly raise awareness both locally and internationally around the fact that TIFF had now grown from a popular week-long film festival into a year-round venue featuring ongoing exhibits and shows.

We leveraged TIFF’s first major exhibit, the wildly successful Tim Burton MOMA show, to generate a nimble kick-start to word-of-mouth and press-friendly campaign.

We created an experimental Twitter-based 'Cadavre Exquis' - a concept inspired by the Surrealist parlour game whereby each participant contributes to the story. In this case, the first line of the story was tweeted by Burton himself and the rest was written by Twitter users from around the world.

Without any media or outward PR push, one little sentence from Burton triggered a firestorm of tweets and press all over the world.

The Situation
The TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) recently opened a state-of-the-art film and exhibit space in downtown Toronto, The TIFF Bell Lightbox. Our mission was to quickly raise awareness both locally and internationally around the fact that TIFF had now grown from a popular week-long film festival into a year-round venue featuring ongoing exhibits and shows.

The challenge was compounded by the fact that we needed to reach a narrowcast of film buffs from around the world and do it with minimal budgets. Media spend was not an option.

The Goal
We needed to craft a creative concept that captured the spirit of Tim Burton and would generate a nimble kick-start to word-of-mouth and press-friendly coverage around the world...all on a shoestring budget.

The Strategy
We decided we had to leverage TIFF’s first major exhibit, the wildly successful Tim Burton MOMA show. Our insight was that people who like Tim Burton really madly love Tim Burton. We decided to give fans a way to feel "connected" to Tim Burton and a reason to spread the story.

Execution
We launched an experimental Twitter-based 'Cadavre Exquis' - a concept inspired by the Surrealist parlour game whereby each participant contributes to the story. In this case, the first line of the story was tweeted by Burton himself and was based on his beloved 'Stainboy' character, also featured in the exhibit. Twitter users from around the world were then invited to tweet lines (in 140 characters or less) to complete the story over the course of two weeks.

Documented Results
Without any media spent or PR effort, one little sentence written by Burton triggered a firestorm of tweets and press all over the world. In two weeks, Twitter users from 163 countries contributed 13,143 story-tweets. A short-list of 89 tweets were selected to create a worldwide crowd-sourced tale inspired by Burton’s most unique voice.

The media was also a fan of the idea. News outlets like The Independent and The Guardian, entertainment magazines like Rolling Stone, gossip bloggers like Perez Hilton and the single most influential digital media magazine, Mashable, picked up on the story. Thousands of Twitterers and bloggers from around the globe also contributed to the buzz.

The experiment was so successful that a live feed of the story was projected in the front hallway of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, blurring the lines between promotion, content and participative art.