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How HBO Used Big Data to Engage Fans of ‘True Blood’

By Sirpa Aggarwal | Posted on July 08, 2014

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The seventh and last season of HBO’s ‘True Blood’ is underway. Leading to the June 22nd debut of the last season HBO partnered with Facebook to delight Truebies with Facebook social findings from the previous seasons during the weeklong ‘True to the End’ marathon. Facebook brought in Arktan as the technology partner to provide HBO with the findings.

Arktan SocialTrends was used to compile and analyze historical data from the previous five years from ‘True Blood’s’ Facebook page. The analysis covered fan posts, and over 16 million likes and over 844,000 fan comments.

Arktan SocialTrends’ natural language processing (NLP), sentiment analysis and other analytics capabilities were utilized to discover social findings, including favorite fan moments and the most memorable stories.

The Facebook social findings were weaved into special themed segments during on-air broadcast of the ‘True to the End’ marathon. The themes included ‘True Love,’ highlighting fans’ favorite suitor for Sookie by ranking the various suitors fans had been rooting for over the years, and ‘True Danger,’ highlighting fans’ favorite villain over the years. Other themes included ‘True Death,’ ‘True Pride,’ ‘True Power’ and ‘True Scene Stealers.’

HBO’s innovative social integration of historical data shared by fans on a social networking platform with on-air live broadcast marked the first-of-its-kind integration by a TV network.

HBO True Blood Facebook Page

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