All you have to do is #FollowTheSpiders...

The Opportunity

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London needed a campaign idea to lead the launch of a new product. The objective was to increase awareness about its new expansion, the Forbidden Forest, which would be announced at the only official Harry Potter fan celebration, #HPCelebration at Universal Resort, Orlando. The secondary goal was to not only increase awareness, but increase sales by targeting fans of Harry Potter to book tickets for the new expansion.

Sparkloft Services

  • Insight + Research
  • Campaign Ideation + Strategy
  • Community Management + Moderation
  • On-the-ground Event Support
  • Content Creation (in conjunction with partner agencies)
  • Reporting


The Campaign

There were two primary insights that drove Sparkloft's campaign strategy:

  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London has incredibly passionate advocates. Sparkloft knew a teaser campaign rooted in a fan-favorite plot from the Harry Potter stories would play well to the audience’s passion. 
  • As a top London attraction, Sparkloft also wanted to build a campaign with out-of-home components that would inspire speculation and create buzz in the city. 

Sparkloft developed an overall teaser campaign concept (#FollowTheSpiders), and executed the campaign in conjunction with partner agencies, activating the core Harry Potter fanbase with the help of official franchise partner's social media pages. 

In the eight days leading up to the announcement on the ground at “A Celebration of Harry Potter,” the integrated campaign launched on social media with an unbranded Instagram account (@followthespiders). All Warner Bros. Studio Tour London social media posting went dark except for campaign messaging, which directed users to “#FollowTheSpiders for an exclusive announcement.”  

The campaign creative was inspired by Harry a Potter plot, which was instantly recognizable to core fans, who began speculating on Twitter, Instagram and Reddit within a few hours of the campaign launching. Partner agencies extended the concept with a traditional out-of-home media buy and press outreach. 

Once the announcement was made on the ground in Orlando, the @followthespiders Instagram account “unlocked” to reveal the Forbidden Forest announcement as it was revealed on-stage at “A Celebration of Harry Potter.”

The Results

  • Being on Reddit was one of Sparkloft's KPI's (key performance indicators). Fan speculation began on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr within 24 hours of the campaign launching. 
  • By the time of the event, the Instagram account accumulated 40,000 followers and the hashtag #FollowTheSpiders had generated 125 million impressions in only eight days.
  • The campaign received national coverage from the Telegraph, Metro and other prominent UK media websites.
  • #FollowTheSpiders was used as an evergreen hashtag for “A Celebration of Harry Potter,” despite the event promoting its own separate hashtag. 
  • Bookings for the first month that the expansion is open (April) spiked after the announcement was made.