HBO’s new series I May Destroy You is debuting during a period of social confluence, as the Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests, and Pride Month all converge. As the brand’s new show tackles themes of trauma and self-discovery within Black and queer communities, HBO created a new campaign to connect with real-life community members who may be struggling during these trying times.
HBO’s new social media campaign, “Gathering The Pieces”, is designed with self-care in mind. The brand enlisted a series of wellness coaches, health experts, and Black influencers to lead conversations with the show’s cast and fans on Instagram Live. By carefully selecting influencers whose missions align with the campaign, HBO has a greater chance of connecting with viewers, according to a Gartner report. The campaign is running from June 7-July 7 to provide resources throughout Pride Month on topics including self-love, therapy, sexual wellness, and trauma. The topics being covered through the campaign mirror many of the themes in I May Destroy You. HBO partnered with Creative Collective NYC, a multicultural creative agency, and Therapy for Black Girls to create “seeding kits” that teach viewers how to prioritize self-care through wellness.
The campaign kicked off with a live viewing party on Twitter for the show’s premiere. During the month-long campaign, HBO is hosting virtual events on the show’s Instagram Live as well as post-show live sessions on the show’s resource website. The resource site will also house links to various organizations and charities, including The Trevor Project, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline. Throughout the campaign, HBO and the I May Destroy You’s social channels will also post conversational prompts to further connect with viewers on the series’ themes.
Affiliating wellness with I May Destroy You could help normalize many of the taboo themes featured in the show, and could stimulate a trend within TV programs to blend health services with a show’s themes even post-pandemic.