Digiday Awards Winner’s Circle: The Hook and Lionsgate Take Back Halloween

Digiday’s awards honor the best work across media and marketing. Winner’s Circle is a series that shines the spotlight on Digiday Awards winners: After the ceremony is over and all the champagne is gone, we ask the winners a few questions about the campaign that won them their top honor. 

Jump scares and creepy clowns aren’t just for the silver screen. The Hook, in partnership with Lionsgate, brought the terror of the “Saw” franchise to computer screens around the world with their “Jigsaw” promotional campaign. From blindfolding and scaring popular influencers to pranking the unsuspecting public, this campaign pulled out all of the stops. The Hook took home Best Agency/Client Collaboration at the 2018 Digiday Marketing and Advertising Awards Europe for this three video series that created hype for the first new “Saw” film in 7 years.

We talked to Alvin Hussey, insights and business development director at The Hook, about using video as a medium for branded content and what it takes to build a successful agency-client collaboration.

Obviously, the campaign was centered around the release of the “Jigsaw” film — but what has the engagement/response been like after the film was released?
It’s been so great and the buzz about the campaign has really helped it to live on beyond the release of the film. We actually picked up a Digiday Publishing Award for Jigsaw (our first ever award) at the ceremony in NYC in March before the Digiday Marketing & Advertising Awards. We took home 7 trophies in total for this particular campaign and 15 on the whole in 2018 so it was a pretty incredible year for us. We’re so honored to get this kind of recognition and to have this support from Digiday means everything.

Why was video the chosen medium for the three pieces of content created?
It was a natural decision to use video, especially for movie promotion, to tell the strong narrative. We were looking to directly mirror the sentiment of “Jigsaw” in our branded content, to play on the plot of the movie and draw the right emotions from our fans to help scare, entertain and whip up anticipation for release.

How did The Hook/Lionsgate partnership start and how has it evolved?
We’ve worked with Lionsgate on a number of campaigns now, including our very first content video promotion, and what’s so great about the team is their willingness to be brave and push boundaries when it comes to social. For the “Jigsaw” campaign we knew that if we could somehow get time with the official “Billy Puppet” from the franchise and Tobin Bell, the actor that plays him, we could really make the campaign sing. This was a big challenge and involved a lot of moving parts with the Lionsgate team doing everything they could to help make it happen. We’ve got some more exciting branded content pieces to come for Lionsgate too!

What’s the key to a successful agency/client collaboration?
It’s really about being open and honest from the outset and to make sure that you build a strong working relationship so that the trust is there. It might seem obvious, but the KPIs and the do’s and don’ts from the brands/clients’ perspective need to be established right away so that there are no surprises later in the creative process. Again, like Lionsgate and many of our clients that we work with, if you’re willing to be brave and push those boundaries on social then you give the campaign every chance to succeed.

Learn more about our 2019 awards programs by clicking here.

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