Hunting Hannibal: How to do a Hiatus Right

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a huge fan of the show Hannibal. Right now it is on hiatus, meaning we don’t get a new thirteen episode season until next year. I’m dying already. However, one of the things that makes this show so great is the fan base. I don’t think I’ve run across a more creative, down to earth, fun loving group of fans ever before (and I’ve been in fandoms for a very long time). Everyone is doing their best to keep the spirit of the show alive during the downtime, and no one is working harder than the people over at the Tattle-Crime blog.

Let me gush about the crew over there for a minute. Tattle-Crime it is one of the most complex role-play blogs I have ever laid eyes on. I’m amazed because production companies and their promotional teams try to come up with ideas like this all the time, but even with their big budget they fail to compare to the fun of this little organically grown gem of a blog. It is completely fan-run, led by the infamous fire-haired goddess Freddie Lounds from the show. No, not the actress Lara Jean Chorostecki, but a real life Freddie Lounds who actually goes snooping for stories. Now, I remember movies like District 9 attempting to get people involved by making it seem like the movie had crossed the boundaries of fiction into reality. There were posters everywhere warning about the outbreak and they even created a website that allowed people to track the progression of the outbreak across the map. That’s the sort of thing movie productions try to do in order to market their film.

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Personal swag I won in a twitter contest!

Another example would be the work the people over at Planet of the Apes did during San Diego’s Comic Con last year (2013) where they put people in medical coats and had them running around screeching about a virus. They gave out swag in the form of hand sanitizer and medical masks. For a moment, it felt like the movie had come to life.

That’s exactly what the people over at Tattle-Crime do: they make the show come to life for fans, and it is insanely fun. There are merchandise giveaways, exclusive interviews with the cast, creator, and production team of the show, and Freddie gives out super awesome swag periodically. This includes a set of buttons and a couple of Tattle-Crime business cards. It is a legit operation and they do a lot to keep the fans engaged with the show even during a long hiatus.

Their latest scheme? Tattle-Crime’s “Hunting Hannibal” contest has been going on for a few weeks now and it is crazy fun. For those of you who have kept up with the series (THOSE WHO HAVEN’T, SPOILER AHEAD!) know that at the end of season two Hannibal gets away after gutting half of the cast. He is now on the run, probably somewhere in Europe, and season three is going to most likely be about his life outside of Baltimore and the FBI. In honor of this, Freddie and her team partnered up with the show and launched a campaign to post up Hannibal wanted posters all over the world. When the contest ends, five winners will be chosen and get an awesome prize package.

Being the nerd I am, I decided to participate. I went around my home town of Salem, Oregon and put up posters in businesses and outside in public places to try and bring some attention to the fact there is a cannibalistic serial killer on the loose!

Here are my results:

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Local grocery store Fred Meyers has a community announcement board; it seemed like the perfect place to stick up a wanted poster.

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The Governor’s Cup coffee house in the heart of Salem, OR’s historic downtown allowed me to tack a poster up on their bulletin board.

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When in the capitol…post up signs in view of the golden man.

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Park goers beware, Hannibal Lecter is out there and probably hungry.

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A Starbucks barista was hesitant until she made the connection with the movies; then she agreed happily.

All in all, it was a crazy fun experience. My favorite story came out of my trip to Starbucks. I hung back at the end of the line for a while since I wasn’t going to buy anything and didn’t want to take up time that could have been spent on customers. Finally, I got the chance to make my move. I told the barista it was a strange request, but I flashed my fancy Nerdophiles business card, mentioned I was a blogger participating in a contest, and she listened to what I had to say. At first she was hesitant, until she looked at the poster and realized she recognized the name.

“Hannibal Lecter…I recognize that name. What is it from?”

“Silence of the Lambs!” I replied excitedly, “though right now there is also an amazing television show we do a lot of coverage for called Hannibal, and that’s what this is related to.”

Her eyes lit up when she made the connection and she immediately told me it would be alright for me to hang it up. I expressed my gratitude, thanked her profusely, and beamed proudly as I walked by on my way out of the mall and saw it hanging there for the world to see.

Many thanks to the Salem, Oregon businesses that put up with my crazy schemes! This includes: East Salem Fred Meyers, Lancaster Mall Starbucks, and the Governor’s Cup coffee house. If you’re ever in Salem, OR, please hit up these places who allowed me to support a show I love in a slightly unorthodox way! Also, thanks again to Freddie Lounds and the team over at Tattle-Crime for putting this whole thing together!

2 responses to “Hunting Hannibal: How to do a Hiatus Right

  1. At first I only watched the show for Mads, but it really is one of the best shows on television! Thank you for the Tattle-Crime link. Can’t wait to explore it!

  2. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue together with your site in web explorer, could check this?
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