In a world where social media dominates so much of our lives, HBO has decided to let it play an integral role in their marketing strategy. Often, marketers divide demographics into four major quadrants: older men, older women, younger men, and younger women. The most difficult demographic to reach and retain loyalty are young people ages 18-25, specifically young women. HBO has always been the leader in innovation for their strategic subscriber based platform focused on quality programming, and now their marketing strategy will also take on an unprecedented move.
Millennials, as young adults are often referred to, spend the majority of their time online and interact with social media while multitasking, including watching television. HBO decided to use this pattern as an opportunity to promote the third season of their hit show Girls in order to get their viewers talking about the show on social media. Beyond the typical Facebook fan page, HBO is utilizing phone apps such as Snapchat and Vine to further their reach since many of their viewers watch their programs on digital devices through their online HBOGo service.
Furthermore, HBO released the first two episodes of Girls season 3 for free on YouTube and created a Snapchat account for the show to send clips and previews of further episodes. In addition, the show has active Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook accounts, and posts recaps on Facebook completely composed of emojis. "For us, this is an increasingly difficult demographic to reach with traditional means," Sabrina Caluori, HBO's vice-president of social media and marketing said.
Why go through all this trouble? Well, for starters, the show's premise relies on the relatable nature of its characters' problems. In a world dominated by social media, to crack the young adult demographic and get them excited about your show, you have to think like a young adult. Girls gains more credibility when its young adult viewers can sympathize with the characters on the show, so marketers emulated this strategy by making social media an integral part of their campaign as it is an integral part of millennials' lives. The program often features uses, problems, and jokes revolving around social media and technology, so using this technique to promote it brings it full circle. Young adults are far more likely to interact with the show if it is active on social media and other digital platforms, and Girls will continue to be a success if it listens to the priorities of its target audience.