The Karate Kid was not just another remake. It was a modern re-imagining of one of the most loved films of the 1980s, starring Jaden Smith – hugely popular with the 10-16 demographic – and Jackie Chan, one of the most respected and well loved martial artists in the world.
But at Spinnaker we had a challenge on our hands – insights gleaned through social media chatter indicated that expectations were low. We therefore needed to go beyond a digital strategy that relied just on the broadcast of film assets.
We needed to create an engagement programme that would extend hype and ultimately drive box office success.
The Search For The UK Karate Kid Was Born!
The strategy was clear – create a Facebook initiative to raise awareness of the new film and give the public a reason to spread the word of their own volition. So we launched a nationwide campaign to find the modern day UK Karate Kid.
Using Facebook as our central hub, entrants were invited to upload a video demonstrating their moves and prooving why they were The UK Karate Kid. We partnered with the English Karate Federation and sent posters and leaflets to all clubs encouraging participation, and karate coaches were incentivised to enter their star pupils – as well as the accolade of winning, finalists could win the chance to meet Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan at the premiere, as well as £5,000 for their club.
Spreading The Word
Semi finalists were selected based upon movements and technique demonstrated on their video, as well as how well they embodied the themes and principles of the movie – dedication, honour and respect. Shortlisted videos were uploaded to Facebook the competition was put to the national vote.
Entrants with the most votes reached the final (judged by Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan at the premiere), so those that galvanised their community to get behind them had the best chance of winning. A flurry of local press interviews, radio appearances and Facebook fan pages therefore ensued, with semi finalists desperate to raise their profile and increase their vote.
We also supported this grass roots approach with an extensive seeding campaign and blogger outreach to other martial arts communities – we ran Facebook ads aimed at karate fans, as well as widening it out to a more mainstream audience.