“Cités” was extremely well received by critics. There was widespread national press coverage and the subject was treated by journalists as if they were discussing the new release of a series or film for cinema. Abd Al Malik, the director, was invited to numerous radio and TV programs to talk about the launch of the project. The series has gone well beyond the borders of France to become an internationally recognized TikTok success story. To date, there have been more than 150 press/ radio/TV mentions resulting in it being watched 15 million times (total number of views for episodes).
Launched in October 2020, the objective of the Prime Video TikTok account was to attract a younger target audience of 13-20 year olds, on a platform where brands are still having difficulty adapting to the specific codes. There are many young people from the “banlieues”, the suburbs outside Paris, within this target group. These areas are commonly associated with the ills of French society and problems linked with immigration. And the young people who live there consequently seem disconnected from other youths in France. But, with TikTok, they can share a common space, where they can express themselves and interact with other people. For Prime Video this represented a great opportunity to share a whole new vision of youth today and convey a message of hope and inclusion.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
To attract a younger audience and to stand out right from the start on this new platform, Prime Video did what it does best: it created a series. A new genre of series: the first 100% TikTok series.
It was called “Cités” and respected the platform’s codes and audience. It’s an ode to youth and to France’s cultural heritage and aims at demonstrating that the two are not disconnected. “Cités” conveys a message of hope and inclusion.
It’s made up of 12 one-minute episodes (the maximum length allowed on TikTok), in which we follow the everyday lives of various young people, who live their lives to the beat of quotations from French celebrities (musicians, authors, poets, etc), whose words have never sounded as true as they do today. The casting, filming, editing and post-production, i.e. every single step of the production, was carried out directly on TikTok,
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
While “Cités” is definitely a 100% TikTok series, it is first and foremost a Prime Video original series and for Amazon that meant it deserved a PR launch of the same level as any other program from their catalogue. From the poster for the series to the interviews and premiere (live on TikTok), each promotional stage was also designed to attract journalists, both mainstream and trade.
The choice of the director was also highly significant. By selecting Abd Al Malik, a rapper, but also an Officer of Arts and Letters, Prime Video personified the project with a reputable director and true ambassador for the series in the eyes of the press.
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
The PR success relied very much on the enormous availability of the actors and director, who were hugely committed to the project. To begin with we released teasers in the form of event posters in 5 major cities around France. We then, with the first live premiere on TikTok, caught the attention of the main French media. And lastly the director and the actors, often for the first time in their lives, made themselves available, live online, to present and defend this Prime Video entertainment project, but also to become ambassadors of the fundamental message of the series, that of the reconciliation between youth and France’s cultural heritage.
List the results (30% of vote)
+27M views for the episodes in 1 week.
+100 articles in the press, in more than 10 countries.
+12 national TV mentions including TV NEWS and 3 talk shows.
3 national press covers
10 national radio mentions including a 50-minute report on Europe 1, the most listened to radio in France.
At the end of March 2021, Cités will be broadcast live on the public TV channel “culturebox" during the national festival “Spring of poetry”
+45k participations in the casting via the TikTok challenge launched earlier and 105M hashtag views
+45k followers of the Prime Video TikTok account in the first week, a rise of 20%!
+60K real time viewers for the TikTok premiere