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Comparing Movie Audiences to Create Impactful Promotions

With more than three billion active social media users worldwide spending hours each day reading, posting and sharing online, capturing specific insight around those behaviors is both exciting (for its potential) and a bit intimidating (because it’s easy to get wrong). Enter next generation AI-powered social analytics! And one of its many use cases involves comparing movie audiences to create impactful promotions. Warner Brothers has this capability down to a science. 

Capturing All of the Movie Audience Insight

Warner Brothers makes movies for every demographic. Depending on the movie, they may be targeting males or females from every generation, ethnicity, sexual orientation and beyond. They use NetBase to capture an aggregated measure of volume, impressions, demographics, and sentiment. And they take it further, using “themes” to create audiences and explore how different groups are engaging with their films, and marketing activation opportunities they’ve yet to realize.

using themes to create audiences and explore how different groups are engaging with their films

When exploring audience insight around movies, specifically, and audience insight around any category, in general, brands can (and should) look at both comparative and competitive data. And in NetBase, you can clearly see and both. Not only see it, but capture meaningful takeaways to inform your next move. Let’s take look . . .

Competitive & Comparative Audience Insight

Not all movies will have the intrinsic, blockbuster draw of Thor Ragnarok, but it serves as a great benchmark for comparative and competitive insight.

Competitive insight tells brands how their product/service, or in this case, film, is doing versus other titles that are similar, based on predefined criteria. For movies, we may be looking at theme or genre. Regardless of c competitive criteria, net sentiment applies:

Competitive insight tells brands how their film is doing versus other titles that are similar, based on predefined criteria

And brands can compare things like volume, impressions, and more (or box office results) against benchmarking insight.

brands can compare things like volume, sentiment, impressions, and more

Comparative metrics tell brands if marketing is on-point, with audiences engaging with this product/service (or film) similarly to how they react to a high performer/aspirational item, or if it’s trending more toward lower performing products/services. And if it’s trending toward the lower end, brands can investigate what the higher performers did in their marketing and identify potential disconnects to pursue to increase awareness, interest, and intent.

Identify Topics & Intent

When it comes to romantic comedies, the assumption is that it would be a chick flick. That assumption is based on benchmarking, of course. But that doesn’t mean every rom-com will only appeal to this narrowly defined demographic. In fact, putting blinders on and charging forward with that assumption could leave lots of money on the table for movies – and brands!

For Crazy Rich Asians, for example, there was a significant male audience engaging with this film around the topic of diversity. The fact that the Asian cast members were not typecast as Kung Fu fighters, hackers or nerds was noted – and appreciated:

male audience appreciating that Asian cast members were not typecast as Kung Fu fighters, hackers or nerds

And female conversation was the book and rom-com genre, in general:

female audience conversation was the book and rom-com genre

From there, Warner Brothers could create very distinct marketing tactics around these topics. They could have a focus on playing up the diversity angle to male audiences and the book/genre to its more traditional female audience, watching closely for intent to attend the movie. Just like a brand marketing a product would track specifically for behaviors around intent to buy.

tracking audience behaviors around intent to buy or attend a movie showing

And tracking that conversation, very specifically, before and after applying relevant tactics can reveal what is/isn’t working by digging deep in to fluctuations:

digging in to fluctuations to see what is or isn't working and why

The key takeaway there is around branching out beyond those traditional/expected audiences. There’s always a new angle to explore. And finding it just got so much faster – and powerful – thanks to advanced AI-powered intel and automated theme discovery!

Expanding Audiences Beyond What’s Expected

The runaway hit of 2017 was Stephen King’s IT. And when investigating horror audiences, the core horror fans, Warner Brothers found there were also thriller and action fans interested too. Armed with this intel, they created a new audience to speak to – casual horror fans. Maybe they loved it for the nostalgia or were fans of Stephen King – either way, it called for marketing that spoke to these segments as well.

The focus shifted from pure horror to scary music and just enough horror to entice, but nothing truly scary to turn potential viewers away. And it ended up shattering all projections.

It all comes down to understanding core audience conversation, while uncovering adjacencies. It involves looking at people’s bios, how they self-identify and capturing many months (up to 54 months on some channels) worth of information and performing deep analyses. Social analytics audience insight tells brands:

  • Who is engaging and how?
  • Which audiences are you dominating and which should you look to acquire?
  • What content is resonating, and which isn’t?
  • How are competitor films/products performing – and what can you learn from it, do better?

And there’s so much more, but we can’t squeeze it all in one post. Suffice to say, Warner Brothers very wisely leaves no stone unturned when it comes to marketing their movies. And your brand shouldn’t be either. If you are, you need to reach out so we can help you fix that before your next launch!