Designated Survivor

Project: Digital Social Campaign
Client: ABC

The Eagle is Gone. Fortunately, television’s demi-god Kiefer Sutherland assumes the throne at Olympus to make primetime great again.

That was the sure-fire premise for ABC’s Freshman series, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR. Anticipation was high, but ensuring that TV audiences tuned in to the actual broadcast premiere, (rather than DVRing it, or catching its post premiere stream) was a critical marketing charge. Another complex challenge was the show’s title. Potential viewers were having trouble understanding what a “Designated Survivor” actually was. So, a plan was needed to sustain the excitement and enthusiasm needed to ensure that users returned every week after Episode 1.

Must See TV
To provide a sense of urgency to the general awareness campaign, we unleashed a strikingly powerful HTML5 Digital Media campaign, that consisted of custom video units, Homepage take-overs and a captivating series of social shareables that combined consistent elements from the show’s key art and urgent “countdown” messaging to provide a provocative visual through-line that made sure Designated Survivor was the must see TV event of 2016.
What's A Designated Survivor?
We were tasked with finding creative ways to clearly define the show’s main plot device. We posed the question... “What's a Designated Survivor?” And, provided the answer across multiple platforms and social networks, engaging the community with a menagerie of captivating custom content that revealed exclusive moments from the pilot and helped position this exciting new series.

Instagram Mosaic

Each week, through premiere, an exclusive piece of content was revealed on the show’s official Instagram account. Content ranged from animated motion posters, quote cards, factoids, exclusive video clips and original character cards. The subject matter focused on character relationships, the definition of a Designated Survivor and specific plot points within the pilot episode. As the individual pieces published in the social feed, a larger single image (the mosaic) began to take shape, ultimately forming a cohesive seamless collage.

What's the Presidential Succession Act?

Facebook Canvas

Our Facebook canvas was anything but ordinary. This visually rich, fun to browse infographic used exclusive images, historical facts and a panoramic images to dynamically explain the origins and purpose of the Presidential Succession Act.

Water Cooler Conversation

Twitter Moments

To sustain viewership and fuel water-cooler conversation, a series of “Moments” were created on Twitter that introduced core themes and characters from the pilot episode and engaged users to resolve unanswered questions that remained. We devised Instant Polls to fuel and steer audience expectations of what might happen next and which conspiracies may be in already the works.


ABC's Designated Survivor debut broke TV’s All-Time Record for Delayed Viewership Increase! The drama added 7.7 million viewers in the week post premiere, impeaching 2015's “Big Bang Theory” for the top spot.

The advertiser-craved 18-49 demographic saw the first episode's rating double from a 2.2 rating to a 4.4, a jump of a whopping 8 million viewers in a week's worth of delayed watching.