"Industry Innovators 2022: 10 Brands Shaping the Future of Event Marketing" is sponsored by Hubilo, a leading virtual and hybrid event platform built to drive engagement, with clients including Deloitte, Coca-Cola, Amazon Web Services and more.
The Basics: Known for its slate of edgy original programming, with shows like American Horror Story and What We Do in the Shadows, FX has expanded that off-kilter sensibility to its experiential marketing and activations. For example, this summer the Disney-owned cable network launched the AHS “Night Bites Bakery” in advance of the latest American Horror Story installment. The pop-up space allowed fans to taste exclusive cookie creations inspired by the new spin-off series, American Horror Stories.
Most Innovative Event: This fall, the network launched SOUNDFX, a multicity art installation program in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles that engaged audiences around the brand via outdoor sonic installations. Each city hosted a custom experience created by a different artist that used immersive and captivating sound art inspired by FX content—across comedy, drama and horror genres. “SOUNDFX was a unique campaign that represented a different approach for us,” said Kenya Hardaway Green, senior vice president of integrated promotions at FX Networks.
“We often focus our creative concept around a series and build events and activations around that particular show. With SOUNDFX, we led with the brand and then wove select shows into the experience to express the qualities of the brand. It required us to think differently about how we wanted our fans to connect with us. It challenged us to produce an innovative event that engaged our audience through art inspired by sounds and music. Ultimately, we want fans to walk away from one of our events interested and excited about our content and we don’t want to limit the ways we can achieve that.”
Event Philosophy: “It is about immersing our audience into the worlds we create and allowing them to indulge in the characters, sights and sounds that they love to watch,” Green said. “We want to make it possible for them to get closer than the screen allows. It’s an opportunity for us to make it tangible and fuel their love for FX content.“
Pivot Back to In-Person/Hybrid: “It has been a process that we have taken very seriously,” Green said. “We wanted to get out and engage fans IRL as soon as possible but doing so did present challenges. Our first event allowed for our guests to remain in their vehicles, so we could be separate but together. As the year progressed, we took advantage of open, outdoor spaces and distance. Each step of the way we wanted to make sure the safety requirements we put in place served their purpose, but never took away from the experience itself. The burden is on us to produce events that allow fans to enjoy themselves and provide for an escape.”