In a move meant to hammer home its notion of the modern American family by getting consumers to think about the friends and family they get together with and interact with on Oscar night, Sprint is hosting a virtual Oscars Twitter party with the website HelloGiggles.
The party will be hosted by actress Shay Mitchell from the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars and the brand is asking consumers to participate using the hashtags #HGparty and #Oscars.
"If you see a dress that you love, an actress you'd like to be besties with, or a nominated film that you're hoping will take home the gorgeous gilded statue, then you should join our live Twitter Party," HelloGiggles says in a blog post.
According to Leah Gentry, director of social marketing for Sprint, fans will be able to join the conversation, as well as submit photos and videos via Instagram and Vine in a series of contests that will ask consumers for content like their best pose or fake cry. These fans will be eligible to win "one of several really cool smartphones."
The Sprint/HelloGiggles red carpet coverage begins at 7:00 ET on Sunday, March 2.
@HelloGiggles has 137,000 followers. @ShayMitch has 2 million.
In addition, HelloGiggles says Mitchell "will be starting her honorary Sprint Framily" on March 2.
Sprint's Framily Plan, which debuted in January, offers unlimited talk and text and 1GB of data starting at $25 per month per line and can include up to 10 lines of service for personal use or business.
Or, as the HelloGiggles post puts it, "What's a Framily Plan? Friends + Family = Framily."
Framily is "our new plan program that recognizes that the modern American family is actually made up of all of those people you are related to by blood, but those you socially interact with every day, too," and "lets you realize pretty massive savings by grouping," Gentry says.
Fans that participate in the Sprint/HelloGiggles Oscars Twitter party will automatically join Mitchell's honorary Sprint Framily, Gentry says.
"For us, by getting people to think of that concept of Framily...by getting them to participate, they're associating themselves with the concept and enjoying a live event with the kind of people who would naturally be in their Framily, so it mixes all together very neatly," she adds.
According to Gentry, Sprint was thinking about how to use social to connect heavy social users to others around the idea of Framily when it decided to get the message across using "heavy social events that already naturally skew to people participating with their Framilies," such as the Super Bowl.
Sprint hosted its own Super Bowl Twitter party using the hashtag #Framily on February 2, but decided to partner with HelloGiggles for the Oscars "because that audience is also a heavy audience of Oscar viewers," and includes the "perfect sort of uber social generation," she says.
Oscar night is "a perfect opportunity to have a Framily moment with a series of contests with a high-profile celebrity influencer with a heavy social following," Gentry says. In addition, HelloGiggles' audience of heavily social 18-to-34-year-olds "made a perfect storm of people who will really relate to our idea of how family works in the modern day," she says.
Gentry says the brand started promoting its Super Bowl party three days in advance and generated an "amazing response," but has started "a little further out" for the Oscars to give consumers "enough time to see it."
@Sprint has 198,000 followers.
HelloGiggles, which calls itself a "positive online community for women," was founded by actress/musician Zooey Deschanel, producer Sophia Rossi and "writer/Internet Sensation" Molly McAleer and says it targets "smart, independent, and creative females."
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March 19, 2014