Season 4 Social Campaign
Throughout Insecure’s four seasons, diehard fans have known the show is as much about what happens on their television screens on Sunday nights as what happens on their phone screens. Insecure’s vocal community on social – armed each week with memes, fan theories, and nuanced commentary on the episodes – has been integral to the show’s success and helped cement the show’s place in the cultural conversation. Even during the emotional year that was 2020, Insecure fans turned out and engaged.
As season four launched on the heels of the global coronavirus pandemic and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, HBO recognized the renewed importance of the show’s social community and launched an integrated marketing campaign aimed at engaging, energizing, and uplifting the Insecure community. HBO gave fans a space to engage with and celebrate the show on social media by fostering weekly conversation around each episode, giving the cast Instagram live platforms, and surprising fans with virtual performances by Jidenna and Miguel.
With season four airing during the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement, HBO did not shy away from recognizing the civil unrest that shook the country and world. The network and Insecure’s showrunners decided to release a statement to its social communities to cement its support of the movement and the Black community. The statement released via the Insecure profiles was met with love and support from the Black community, as fans shared the importance and timeliness of the show in such an unsettling time in the country.
Throughout the season, the #InsecureHBO hashtag was a rallying cry for fans of the show, prompting thoughtful conversation, hilarious memes and commentary from all corners of the internet that reached its zenith during the season’s finale episode. Fans’ appetites to dissect, discuss and deliberate on all aspects of the show – from Condola (alias Canola Oil, alias Condolences, alias Condoleeza), Issa and Molly’s turbulent friendship, and Issa and Lawrence’s will-they-won’t-they arc – resulted in #InsecureHBO reliably taking over Twitter feeds and trending topics well into Sunday night. Not only was Insecure a hot topic weekly leading to each airing, but it maintained the No. 1 U.S. trending spot on Twitter alongside other Insecure-related trends Sunday nights throughout the season.
The quality of the conversation around the show was matched only by the social records that this season shattered. Insecure was the No. 1 most social premium cable series of 2020, beating out internal competitors The Undoing and Lovecraft Country, which came in number 2 and 3 respectively, as well as the popular Starz shows Outlander and Power. The finale episode was the most social episode of the show ever, generating nearly 1MM engagements night-of across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Twitter activity increased by 387% compared to the season three finale interactions. Overall, season four of the series drove over 4MM cross-platform engagements throughout the season, increasing conversation by 300% compared to season three’s total chatter.
HBO armed fans with a slew of assets and opportunities to engage with and discuss the show. Weekly GIF uploads to Giphy helped spread the best moments of the show throughout fans’ digital and social ecosystems. This resulted in over 1.5B GIF views to-date across the series’ GIFs uploaded to the platform. In-season, HBO encouraged the cast to feed the fandom on social by live-tweeting along with each episode, engaging with viewers, and offering behind-the-scenes anecdotes while answering fan questions on weekly Instagram Lives.
Beyond metrics and records, Insecure’s community on social represents the best of Black Twitter: a space for conversation, shared language, and a sense of closeness during a year that has kept many far from their loved ones – and there’s nothing lowkey about that.