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Horror film franchise scares up engagement via interactive chat

The Insidious horror film franchise is using interactive chat to let fans engage with teenage heroine Quinn Brenner on the Kik application in an effort to drive excitement around the recently released trailer for the third installment. 

The Insidious: Chapter 3 film will be released by Focus Features on June 5. The studio partnered with instant messaging app Kik, which has 200 million users, as well as mobile chat content platform Massively to create the interactive text-messaging story game. 

?This campaign lets fans of the Insidious films chat with Quinn in a semi linear story,? said Russell Ward, president of Massively.  ?In this case, the beginning and ending were pre-determined by the Massively creative team and Focus Features, but the story develops and unfolds as an individual experience for every user.

?The story and its ending grants the user access to insight about the characters that builds anticipation for film?s release and adds an additional layer of context to the Insidious: Chapter 3 story,? he said. 

Chatty Quinn
Building from the idea that movie fans want to chat with the characters they love, Kik users are able to interact with Quinn and learn more about the movie by starting a chat with "Insidious" on the app. 

The Insidious: Chapter 3 story is also part of Kik's Promoted Chats program, which invites users through their existing Kik profiles to watch the trailer and chat with Quinn. Kik is calling this its most sophisticated Promoted Chat experience to date. 

The messages introduce Kik users to the character of Quinn Brenner through a non-linear story that reveals plot points and characters from the film. 

Users send and receive text messages to guide the story or to receive clues, and jokes. 

In pre-launch tests, Kik users chatted with Massively?s own Lord of Riddles game, sending more than 2 million text messages in response to Massively?s brainteasers in fewer than four weeks.

Promoted chats
Kik Promoted Chats enable users to connect with brands in a one-to-one setting. 

Kik launched Promoted Chats in August 2014. Since then, more than 60 brands have taken advantage of the program, including Funny or Die, Seventeen Magazine, Skullcandy and Vans. 

The company reports that more than 10 million users have opted into a conversation with a brand.

Last summer, Film studio The Weinstein Company chose Kik over its competitors to promote the film adaptation of Lois Lowery?s novel The Giver due to the app?s photo-sharing capabilities and emerging presence (see story). 

?Fans want to be friends and connect with stories they love,? Mr. Ward said. ?Massively works to create an interactive chat experience that allows brands to have one-on-one conversations with hundreds of thousands of users, while fans guide the story and experience it within the context of their own Kik profiles and personal identities for a realistic interaction with the story and characters.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Marketer, New York