Case Study

HBO Max hosted

the freshest watch party 

of the year

 

Here’s the story all about how “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” watch party went down on Twitter. 

Key results

99%
positive sentiment

+92%
boost in impressions

+332%
lift in incremental Tweet authors throughout the event

The opportunity

2020 was a year for the books, but one major celebration had everyone up to no good: the 30th anniversary of the classic ‘90s sitcom, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Obviously, this major milestone was one to celebrate. But during a year where people feel more disconnected from one another than ever before, how could HBO Max bring fans together to celebrate the important moment? Turns out, the anniversary was happening at just the right time. 

Since the start of the pandemic, people on Twitter have been feeling nostalgic. In fact, there’s been a 29% increase in nostalgic Tweets about entertainment year over year.1 Enter: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion.” 

The strategy

Because people on Twitter feel more connected to others when they watch a livestream event on social media2, HBO Max decided to throw a watch party for the #FreshPrinceReunion. Armed with more than a few surprises up their sleeves, HBO Max created an at-home premiere experience, complete with a live Tweet-along from the cast.

Here’s the story all about how HBO Max used Twitter to get the word out about the #FreshPrinceReunion watch party. 

Steps to success:

Tags
  • TV
  • Case Study
  • North America
  • Media & Entertainment

01

Tease with a trailer.

Before the show’s premiere, HBO Max started to get the hype going by using a Promoted Video to share the trailer. The video also gave fans more details and information about the #FreshPrinceReunion event. 

To spread the word, HBO Max enlisted cast members like Tatyana Ali to share the event announcement. Tweets from the cast helped HBO Max connect with the show’s loyal fanbase and amplified the excitement for everyone.

02

Send out the invites.

To drive tune-in, HBO Max encouraged “Fresh” fans to opt-in to receive a notification when the watch party began. Before the premiere, fans received a reminder to watch along with the cast, ensuring that no one missed a minute of the special.

03

Try a takeover.

A day before the reunion, HBO Max took over the Twitter timeline’s top spot for 24 hours. To get fans excited, they also used a branded emoji of Will Smith’s signature ’90s hat.

HBO Max also included an official timer as a part of the Promoted Trend Spotlight, counting down the minutes until the show’s premiere.

But it turns out the countdown clock was all a ruse. Surprise! Much to fans’ delight, HBO Max dropped the #FreshPrinceReunion a day early and updated the Promoted Trend Spotlight to reflect the real-time excitement.

And the excitement was obvious. The surprise announcement sent Twitter into a frenzy, more than doubling the conversation about the reunion special.3

04

Be an attentive host.

When it was finally showtime, HBO Max hosted the #FreshPrinceReunion watch party on Twitter’s Live Event Page. Fans could Tweet with each other about the premiere and share their reactions in real time.

Creating even more buzz, HBOMax partnered with Twitter TV and Blackbirds, Twitter’s employee resource group for members and allies of the African diaspora, for the event. The groups co-branded their profile pages to share their excitement about the reunion.

05

Include exclusive moments.

Throughout the premiere, HBOMax gave fans inside access to the stars of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” The reunion show featured a live Tweet-along with the show’s cast who shared exclusive commentary and stories from behind-the-scenes.

Don’t forget the party favors! VITs and industry partners received exclusive Twitter Kits ahead of the premiere. The goody bags were filled with “Fresh Prince” memorabilia, so select fans were ready to watch the reunion in style.

The success

Overall, the #FreshPrinceReunion watch party was a huge success. Fans laughed, cried, and shared memories during the special, generating 99% positive-to-neutral sentiment throughout the event.

The night of the premiere, Twitter was buzzing with nostalgia and sentimental Tweets: so much so that #FreshPrinceReunion took the throne as a top organic trending topic in the US on launch day.4 And for that, HBO Max gets the credit for throwing what was pretty much the best family reunion ever. 

Sources

1 Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). Comparing Tweet Volume from Jan 1 - Sept 28, 2019 vs Jan 1 -Sept 28, 2020. US Only. Data retrieved Sept 28th, 2020
2 Twitter Insiders, US Only, April 9–13, 2020, n=727
3 Brandwatch, 2020
4 Twitter, 2020

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