Monday, July 15

Unlocking Goosebumps: an Innovative Marketing Approach

In 1992, Robert Lawrence Stine began penning what was supposed to be a run of six horror stories for children, but wound up becoming a cultural phenomenon that beat out Madonna’s Sex and The Anarchist Cookbook on the The Top 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books List.

Now, Goosebumps has been transformed into a blockbuster, and the movie is getting a big boost in online buzz thanks to a new Twitter feature: autoplay ads.

In preparation for the fall release of Goosebumps, Sony has been running autoplay ads that star the film’s hero — Jack Black as author R.L. Stine — and its villain — a creepy ventriloquist’s dummy named Slappy, which some may remember from Night of the Living Dummy.

According to Ad Week, Twitter found that when it was testing its autoplay videos that users were 2.5 times more likely to prefer autoplay over click-to-view or thumbnail previews. The social media giant also found that ad recall was 14% greater on autoplay-promoted video over other formats, and that completion rates were seven times greater than other video formats.

In other words, Twitter’s tests show that its autoplay ads are pretty effective.

Although Twitter’s autoplay ads are still relatively new, the format has become more and more common recently, but that’s not what makes Sony’s campaign so interesting. This new run makes Sony the first brand to run a global “unlock” campaign. The innovative marketing strategy is designed to encourage users to engage with the ad before they’re able to see the trailer. In response, Sony’s marketing team is also able to deliver customized video responses from Slappy to anyone who tweets the hashtag #UnlockGoosebumps.

Of course, as neat as the Twitter campaign is, everyone will just have to wait to see what sort of an impact the campaign has. Hopefully the suspense won’t kill them.

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