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A Simple Favor
Lionsgate asked PopShorts to help them generate awareness among women and build anticipation for the theatrical release of their mystery thriller, A Simple Favor, starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick.
Our Solution
Creative Inspiration

Inspired by Blake Lively's PR stunt where she temporarily removed her Instagram account and followed people named Emily Nelson, which garnered widespread press coverage...

Emily (Blake Lively) Goes Missing
...we designed a clever social media mystery game to thicken the plot. Our mystery unfolded during NYFW to build buzz & engage the F18-34+ target demographic right before the film’s theatrical release.
The "detectives" who successfully found Emily's secret account followed it to be entered to win a trip for two to New York Fashion Week and a $1,000 shopping spree, which aligned with the high-fashion aesthetic of both the film and our Instagram mystery.
Win a Trip for 2
to New York
Fashion Week
Recruiting Social Detectives
We worked with our team of fashionable celebs, Ariana Madix, Vicki Gunvalson, Lala Kent, and Lauren Burnham, to spread the word of Emily's disappearance and draw traffic to the @Hope.for.Emily Instagram page, which was the starting point for our social media search party. To initiate the search, our four fashionistas each dressed up in their stylish NYFW attire while showing their audience the missing poster for Emily Nelson (Blake Lively).
Ariana Madix
Vicki Gunvalson
Lala Kent
Lauren Burnham
Building Buzz During NYFW
As anticipation grew during NYFW, our team of fashionistas each posted hints on their personal Instagram Stories, which were re-posted to the @hope.for.emily page as pinned highlights, providing additional hints for the entire search party.
NYFW Sighting
We had a street style photographer, Eddie Newton, embed a hidden clue within his feed that looked like one of his typical NYFW celebrity sightings to give this mystery both a real-time and real-world feel.
Street Style Photographer
Eddie Newton
Rounding Out the Campaign
A Fun & Captivating Experience
Users could solve the mystery by following any one of 3 possible paths to find Emily's secret account. We made it easy enough for users to solve, but hard enough to make it challenging and fun.
The posts received dozens of comments complimenting the scavenger hunt for being so much fun to solve.
Creativity Gets Rewarded

In just one week, we engaged the target demographic with over 15,000 successful detectives of the 25,000 who joined the search party, of which 96% were female and 85% were A18-34.

A Simple Favor went on to gross nearly $100MM at the box office.

mystery completion rate
4 million
video views
new followers
99% positive
Here are a few of the recognitions we received for this campaign.
Best Use of Instagram
Social Media Campaign
Best Influencer Campaign
Social Content & Marketing - Influencer Marketing
Social Content & Marketing - Film & Television
Social Content & Marketing - Contests & Promotions
Best Social Media Program
Best in Show
Outstanding Branded Social Campaign
Outstanding Social Contest or Promotion
Adobe Students
Inspiring the Next
Generation of Students
CBS Films
American Assassin’s
Badass Influencer Activation
A Simple Favor,
An Engaging Mystery
Home Centric
Launching Home Centric’s
First Standalone Store