Roses or reindeer? Mistletoe or mischief? More than 175,000 viewers created their ultimate Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas lineup. We built and hosted a record-breaking Fantasy League game to entice new viewers and reward those undercover elves - and we're not stopping any time soon.
In 2017, The Hallmark Channel came to us wanting an easy way to surprise and delight viewers for the entire holiday season. Considering their impressive roster of more than 130 original production movies airing for their annual Countdown to Christmas campaign, Hallmark knew they needed to do something big to bring holiday cheer to thousands of loyal fans. Taking cues from classic Fantasy League tournaments, the game had to be simple, easy and fun for everyone, while also being rewarding for the true fans. The goal was to drive digital engagement and boost tune-ins — for 10 weeks straight, year after year.
When DEFINITION 6 started working with Hallmark, we designed a gallery-style framework to spotlight the production art for each title and transport users with a Winter Wonderland-styled UI. This festive Fantasy execution refreshed each week to showcase the upcoming rotation of movies, ultimately featuring the entire season’s worth of Premieres, Hallmark Favorites, and Holiday Classics. While the design evolves year to year, the basic functionality is still the same.
Gameplay is simple: Pick 7 movies from each week’s lineup and predict which ones will have the highest number of points. Points were awarded based on tune-in. Twice each week, real-time trivia games were unlocked to give users the chance to earn bonus points based on their knowledge of Hallmark Movies and the featured actors. The season was divided into 10 rounds that spanned from October 27th to January 1st and used cash prizes to encourage repeat visits. And the campaign runs year after year during the holiday season.
Along with the game itself, internal teams at the Hallmark Channel push the game throughout their digital properties, including social ads and website teasers, to gain added traction. Players also receive weekly emails reporting their score and could log in to check their standing on the leaderboard.