Branded Content to get Cervantes closer to the youth
Within the events of the IV Centenary of Cervantes, the City Council of Alcalá proposed Fandom a challenge: to rejuvenate the figure of Miguel de Cervantes and bring him closer to the younger ones. Fandom accepted this challenge and solved it by creating an immersive narrative, with a game and through a transmedia narrative that culminated in a massive event on a Halloween night. It attracted more than 10,000 people.
The Council of Youth of the City of Alcalá de Henares was looking to bring closer the figure of Cervantes to the youngest during the events of the IV Centenary of the writer’s death. In Cervantes’ hometown, with countless annual events of all kinds, many young people perceived Cervantes as distant and outdated. Therefore, it was necessary to conduct a disruptive action that would relate Miguel de Cervantes to the contemporary narrative formulas and to what young people are used. From this renewal a proposal appeared: “Horrores Ejemplares”, or how to develop a branded content campaign for one of the greatest geniuses of the humanity.
With Horrores Ejemplares we were looking to take advantage of the celebrations of Halloween through a narrative proposal that was in a fantastic sphere. Historically, one of the aspects that engagement generates is the epic component. That was the tone that was sought to articulate the whole campaign. It was necessary to create a story about Cervantes, distribute it, propagate it to the target audience and culminate everything on a great street event on October 31st.
A tenebrous plot was created for the story. An old enemy of Cervantes was actually a necromancer who would now come to life on the Halloween night to erase the writer’s legacy and begin the domination of the world by the forces of evil. The narrative was built with multiple stories distributed on social media (characters profiles, Facebook pages and profiles of companies and institutions linked to the plot…), webs, news in media, videos … For the 31st, a game was designed in which it was combined the use of a mobile app with the interaction of dozens of real actors and five great theatre plays.
One story, multiple narratives
One of the most complicated and exciting jobs of Fandom was the transmedia production where we generated more than 100 pages of script and coordinate the narration. In first place, were distributed prequel videos in which Dr. Fuentes, a young philosopher, reported some surprising discoveries on her YouTube channel. By then, all the social media profiles of our fictional characters and institutions were already active. We also created Wikipedia pages about the characters that stayed active for a day.
The expectation in social media was focused on the irruption of the young philosopher. The community manager job was focused on giving credibility to the Laura Fuentes’s profiles and her research group. At the same time, the evil Arcadio Lillo de Mendoza began its journey in social media platforms with a discreet profile. On the initial moments of the narration, we only worked with the public identified as potential influencer or action target audience.
For all those who wanted to go a little deeper, the website of Horrores Ejemplares was opened to the public. It included all the stories that were being published and it explained what type of event was going to be held in Alcalá de Henares on October 31st.
The fake frame of Cervantes
The turning point in the story took place one week before the event of October 31st. On Monday, October 24th, a mysterious foundation announced that it had in its possession a painting with a real portrait of Miguel de Cervantes.It was the Khronos Foundation and its evil leader Arcadio Lillo de Mendoza.
The news took shape in an astonishing interview conducted by Lillo de Mendoza in Cadena SER. At the end of the program, a call from Dr. Fuentes warned about the plans of a diabolic invasion and the infection of those attending the false presentation of Cervantes’s painting.
The news that jumped on Cadena SER also began to get spread by other media channels that picked up those strange announcements. Fandom got the majority of the media contacted to participate in the story and there were some who even joined producing their own material with the narrative material provided by the agency. All the different narratives prior to the day of the event, October 31st, were displayed. The public call was made in two parts: one part was institutional, with the City Council explaining the details of the action, and the other part was the appeal of Urano’s Order, a brotherhood that defended the good, to which Cervantes had belonged. They defended the city fighting evil on the 31st with the help of a magic tool that was transformed into a mobile app.
The call to action was completed with the distribution of flyers that referred to the official sites of Horrores Ejemplares and Urano Files, a page in which you had to solve a riddle to get in and learn more about the details of the story. Some of those details were related to its narrative universe, cosmology, other characters, biographies, etc.
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All the work culminated on October 31, with a large event where more than 10,000 people attended, crowding the center of Alcalá and exceeding any established prevision. Hours before the activity began, thousands of people showed their interest on the open zones dedicated to the makeup of the characters and asked questions to some of the extras that were already acting in the historic center of Alcalá. Shortly after 8pm, the unforgettable event began and wrapped up with transmedia production pioneer in Spain.
A MASSIVE SUCCESS
Dressed as a great event, this activity had, in fact, an added success. Beyond the numbers of attendants, there was an approach of Cervantes’s figure to the youngest through a narrative proposal and an immersive game in which the most adventurers traits of the writer’s life stood out. It generated the interest of the younger ones with a biography they probably didn’t know about and that was the base material for a story with which they throbbed and to what they got involved
- LA 1 DE MOYANO