Case Study

MEAN GIRLS BOOK CLUB: YOU CAN LEARN WITH US — VIRTUALLY

Turning the page on Summer 2020 with listening and learning.

Assignment:

For two years, Mean Girls has been an entertainment brand integrated into current pop culture. As the digital agency of record, we’ve continually found ways to put a “fetch” spin on the latest social trends. Following the national conversation surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, Mean Girls maintained its mission to comment on the world around us by focusing on ways to create an impact and being action orientated. Mean Girls can still serve snappy memes, while also joining larger, thoughtful conversations. The launch of the Mean Girls Summer Reading and Discussion series with Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, perfectly bridged the brand and the moment. By selecting books that focus on the ongoing fight for racial justice in America, Mean Girls has found a way to both speak directly to our young audience and to the national, cultural moment.

The Solution:

We concepted and executed an hour-long virtual discussion around the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Hate U Give, featuring author Angie Thomas, Mean Girls book writer Tina Fey, and members of the Broadway and National Tour casts. The stream featured questions curated internally, as well as those sourced from our fans, who had been encouraged to read along with us.

Upon announcing the series as a whole along with the first book on social, Mean Girls encouraged fans to RSVP to the Facebook Event created for the discussion. In the weeks leading up to the event, we drove fans to participate through book giveaways courtesy of Tina Fey and original Broadway Cady, Erika Henningsen. Following the giveaway, Mean Girls encouraged fans to purchase their own copy from independent, Black-owned bookstores by providing resources with state-by-state locations. 

As the event drew closer, we kept building momentum and anticipation. Fan questions were sourced via Instagram Stories with a Question sticker, and reminders were released on social media in the form of brief videos from Broadway and National Tour cast members sharing their own impressions of the book so far. As a final push for participation, social posts and a callout in a reminder newsletter encouraged fans who may not have found time to read along to watch the 2018 feature film. 

The group discussion featuring nine panelists was recorded in advance via Zoom and released the following week on the Facebook Event page. Following the stream, fans were directed to continue the discussion on Instagram Live, where two members of the Mean Girls cast hosted a live Q&A. 

The Results:

Mean Girls engaged in the cultural moment, inviting the cast and fans into the conversation. The involvement of writers Angie Thomas and Tina Fey brought more participation while adding cachet to the event. 

Following the success of the inaugural Summer Reading and Discussion virtual event, the series has announced its second book, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, and the author has already signed on to participate in the accompanying event. Building on this foundation, we will be able to use our platform long-term to inspire important conversations and ongoing action.