The Crunchyroll Anime Awards is a global celebration that honors the best of anime and drives fan and industry recognition, respect, and excitement. The Anime Awards have been available for worldwide participation and viewing in previous years; however, localization hasn’t always been a priority. Google translate was used for translation, assets were U.S.-centric and the bulk of marketing resources were focused on growing domestic viewership.
For the fourth annual awards show, Crunchyroll prioritized international growth to scale and engage fans in new ways and establish Crunchyroll as the leader in anime worldwide. To accomplish this, the Crunchyroll Audience Development (AudDev) team created channels of communication between eight regional teams and headquarters in San Francisco to ensure all assets were translated, localized, and implemented by each local community expert.
Crunchyroll’s objectives included the following:
- Increasing the number of votes YoY by leveraging international outreach and daily voting
- Increasing messaging surrounding the livestream and its multiple ways to watch, including new initiatives such as regional watch parties around the world
- Launching paid media campaigns for the first time in promotion of the Anime Awards in 4 international markets
- Fully localized landing page experience in the following languages: Spanish (LATAM), Arabic, German, French, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese
- Creating templatized creatives and international-friendly assets to support Anime Awards worldwide to increase brand awareness and engagement
To measure the success, Crunchyroll set the following goals that directly impacted localization efforts:
- 6M online votes (+16%YoY
- 2.1M Page Loads (+25%YoY)
- 50M Social impressions through official posts
Crunchyroll set a number of key strategies to establish the brand as the world’s best home for anime and to penetrate into new markets for the Anime Awards, including:
- Full site localization in 8 languages, including the first time localizing the Anime Awards landing page in Arabic. Additional care was put into creating and testing the site experience on mobile, where a majority of Arabic-speaking users are consuming Crunchyroll content. Additional resources were allocated to ensuring seemingly small details, such as the direction of check marks and the location of menus, still felt intuitive to users viewing the site in Arabic.
- Recruiting judges from international news outlets for initial closed voting period. Crunchyroll selected 30 judges to help narrow down the nominees, and 7 of them were from non-English speaking regions. All judges have their own communities, either as journalists or anime influencers, and were able to help establish additional recognition for the Anime Awards in their individual regions.
- Localizing all major assets before all marketing beats, resulting in over 2,500 assets. Before each major phase of the campaign, the teams met to determine which assets required localization and ensured there were additional design alternatives for languages that tend to use more characters, such as German. Timelines were built to ensure all regions had equal opportunity to make first-to-market announcements in each language. This also included localization of a User Generated Content site that promoted natural social sharing with the #AnimeAwards hashtag and the regional Twitter account weaved into the social copy.
- Securing and coordinating four international watch parties and two co-streams of the shows featuring local hosts and influencers. Each region structured watch parties to best fit their current communities. Brazil, a region in which anime has become part of common pop culture, set up a watch party in an eSports bar and tickets for the event sold out. The Spanish-speaking hosts, who are well recognized among users, set up a co-stream so they could celebrate with Crunchyroll's Latin American communities who would be celebrating in the late evening, and users in Spain who stayed up late to watch the show live at 2AM CET. In Russia, where Crunchyroll is continuing to grow and foster brand awareness, the company opted to work with influencers who already have established fan communities and live in this emerging anime market.
- Establishing a process with all international news teams to ensure localization for all news articles related to major marketing beats within the campaign. In previous years, international news coverage of the Anime Awards was ad hoc, but with Crunchyroll’s growing news team, the AudDev team was able to work with news leads in all regions to ensure major announcements were available in every region within 24 hours, resulting in 1.4M visits to news articles across all international regions, in comparison to the 9k visits spread across the 2 regions in 2019.
All efforts began in October 2019 ahead of the Anime Awards show in February 2020.
The Anime Awards were incredibly successful this year, driven by strong international growth due to Crunchyroll’s commitment to localization and regional authenticity. Results include:
Video for Anime Awards: Global to the Max
- 11M votes worldwide, with over 7M votes coming from outside of the US. This was a 180% increase from 2019, demonstrating the power of nurturing audiences globally. The largest YoY growth was seen in Latin American countries, with Brazil contributing 1.2M votes (338% YoY), making it the second highest contributing country. Other countries in Latin America saw an average participation growth of 440% YoY, with some regions growing over 600% YoY.
- International News Readership: 1.4M views. By sharing results and announcements with international news teams early, Crunchyroll was able to be first-to-market with major announcements and further establish the brand as a leader in the anime industry internationally.
- International Social Organic Impressions: 26M, up 271% YoY. This demonstrates the impact of collaboration and coordination to ensure assets were accessible and available for localization.
- #AnimeAwards was trending on Twitter at #2 Worldwide during the Anime Awards show
- #AnimeAwards was trending on Twitter in 19 different countries throughout the entire campaign
- Views for international co-streams with regional hosts: 107,000