Ghosts of Highway 20 Social Media Campaign
2019 Finalist

Ghosts of Highway 20 Social Media Campaign

The Oregonian/OregonLive

Portland, United States

Category Social Media

Overview of this campaign

When The Oregonian/OregonLive picked up the trail of Oregon killer John Arthur Ackroyd, he was sitting in a prison cell, serving life.


Ghosts of Highway 20 was the most ambitious project published by The Oregonian/OregonLive in 2018. The reporting team produced a 7,000- word print series and a five-part documentary produced by videographer Dave Killen.


As the series neared completion, The Oregonian/OregonLive social media team, Ryan Fernandez and Julie Evensen, planned strategy to generate interest in what would be a complicated and compelling series. The campaign objective was to create a large audience for the series, in order to generate:


  • +1 million video views
  • +30k social engagements (likes, shares, comments, retweets)


The team decided to launch a teaser campaign that would unfold over a full month before the premiere of the docuseries. Beginning with a moody, 45-second video teaser, the initial creative showed only some of the signature visuals from the documentary and the series title. As interest grew, the team began to release short clips across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Getting the teaser up early on Twitter established the #GhostsOfHighway20 hashtag and generated mystery. By the time the full trailer launched, readers were actively trying to guess what the series was about and asking for more!


Two weeks before the series premiere date, the team released a full trailer for the series, debuting it as a live premiere on Facebook and YouTube.


The series published over six days, with a video episode broadcasting on Facebook each night. The team used Instagram stories as a daily touchpoint to keep the audience connected to the series. The nightly video episode on Facebook broadcast as a live premiere, creating a ‘watch party’ atmosphere and made the series ‘appointment viewing’ for the increasingly dedicated audience.

Results for this campaign

Ghosts of Highway 20 proved one the most successful and ambitious video and social media projects to date for The Oregonian/OregonLive, resulting in:

  • 1.7 million video views
    • 83% of those views were on Facebook
    • 46k social engagements across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
    • 315k page views to the written series


To contact a company representative about this campaign, click here for the INMA Member Directory

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