The Stanford Prison Experiment


DMM partnered with IFC Films to devise a high-quality social media marketing strategy that specifically focused on interactive content. With engaging social videos and a custom website build, we were able to create an encompassing campaign that engaged fans and drove awareness of the film's release.



First, we constructed a multi-layered website experience to educate fans about the real-life study that the film is based on while teasing the tense action portrayed in the story. Our goal was to walk fans down the hallways of The Stanford Prison using clips from the film as exposition. We then took actual archived footage from the 1971 experiment and paired it with these clips from the movie to emulate the reality behind the script. We got so clinical, that the actual professor from the study Dr. Zimbardo had the final say in what went into the site.

Despite keeping our design as close to non-fiction as possible, we made sure to never lose the entertainment and social aspect of the site. We created an interactive coin flip page where fans were able to take their chances and see if they’d be a prisoner or a guard in the experiment. They were then prompted to share their results on socials where their friends could comment on their roles or flip the coin themselves.

Next, we used scenes from the film to construct 5 social videos to be seeded out by the official IFC Films social accounts, the movie’s socials but most importantly the talent in the film. Many of the stars of the movie have enormous followings on Instagram. Keeping this in mind, we strategically developed video content that would feel native to the actor’s online brand. Whether it was fun pause videos or editorialized “prison rules” clips, the creatives for The Stanford Prison Experiment always felt very native to social media and portrayed heavily the tension of the film. This unique approach bolstered fan engagement and consciously navigated the video-centric internet community of today.