Trusting the Instinct with ‘Teen Wolf’

by Mark Jafar, Viacom

Tyler Posey on the set of a promo shoot last weekend for MTV's "Teen Wolf"

Something stirred in the dead of night this weekend, in the forests that edge the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia.

It was pure Southern Gothic. With the moon at its height and an eerie silence settled among the trees (save for some overactive tree frogs), out of the mist emerged…a bunch of ridiculously good looking actors and some craft services tables?

Alright, so the scene wasn’t all that sinister, but the cast and crew of MTV’s Teen Wolf, who returned to the show’s suburban Atlanta set location earlier this year, were out in the woods again this weekend, dressed and ready for action.  The MTV promo and creative teams fired up the lights and coffeemaker for two all-nighter shoots to develop promotional materials for the show’s second season, premiering in June.

When last we saw the Teen Wolf gang, Scott and Derek had just finished their climactic showdown with the Alpha, bringing to a close the arc of the show’s debut season while leaving a number of loose ends untied.  With fans asking “What’s next?” the new promos tease the thematic overtones of the coming season with the tagline “Trust the Instinct.”

According to Tina Exarhos, head of Marketing and Multiplatform Creative for MTV, season two will explore the idea of instinct, and what makes one person rise to the occasion as a hero when another person might walk away.

“In season two, each cast member is tested in different ways, and each becomes a hero in his or her own way,” Exarhos said. “Someone who needs to be rescued one day may become a hero to someone else the next.”

Don’t expect the new promos to let slip too much in the way of plot detail, though.  With a serialized show like Teen Wolf, the MTV team is acutely aware of being overly spoiler-ific, and is pursuing a “less is more” strategy when it comes to new season footage.

“Small bits of content can have a big impact,” Exarhos said.

MTV is also well-aware that it set the bar high with last year’s marketing blitz to launch the series premiere – one of the network’s biggest bets yet as it diversifies its slate with more scripted programming.

Heading into its sophomore season, however, MTV has the advantage of a now established show mythology, and a highly engaged fan base that is eager for every bit of information and content they can grasp.

“Our second season campaign really started the minute season one ended,” Exarhos said.  “We basically never stopped communicating with the fans, and our focus now is to empower them to spread the word, as we try to expand the audience further.”

Look for the Teen Wolf season two promos when they hit MTV on April 23.

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