Hearst has created an installation to promote Netflix's its hit teen show "13 Reasons Why."
The publisher is erecting a wall of actual high school-like lockers on both coasts where people can take Polaroids, write confessionals on the snapshots, and post them IRL (in real life). The idea is to "own your truth," says Todd Haskell, chief revenue officer at Hearst Magazines Digital Media.
This is one of the first experiential marketing campaigns executed by Hearst Magazines Digital Media.
"We're using our connection to millions and millions of readers to make them aware this is happening, bring them to the event, and then [we're] covering the event," Haskell says. "That's an interesting model for turning an event into something readers can engage with."
Publishers are getting more creative marketing their brands beyond the pages in their magazines, native content and banner ads. Many are exploring the experiential marketing world to build and promote through social media and on their websites.
Haskell wouldn't say how much Netflix will spend with Cosmo and Seventeen, only that it amounts to a "significant investment."
Seventeen and Cosmopolitan—which have more than 30 million social followers combined, the company says—will blast out videos from the weekend on Snapchat and Instagram. On Snapchat, Cosmo and Seventeen host Discover channels, where they post daily digital magazines designed for the app and have more than 10 million subscribers.
The "13 Reasons" wall will appear on the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles and New York City this weekend.
The show premieres its second season on Friday, an the use of Polaroid cameras is a nod to a plot line that relies on the old school technology. (Last season, the show featured cassette tapes, which the protagonist used to document her life.)
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said the "13 Reasons Why" installation was the first experiential marketing campaign executed by Hearst's marketing team. The installation was handled by Hearst Magazines Digital Media, and was some of the first experiential work by the digital team, not the first. Hearst's print marketing team has previously mounted experiential campaigns for advertisers.