To help galvanize fans of all ages ahead of the long-awaited return of the Minions to the big screen, Universal and Illumination assigned Paramount and The Daily Show to investigate. We know that Comedy Central’s audiences grew up loving the Despicable Me franchise. In support of the new sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru!, we were tasked with reminding our audiences (and their families) that everyone’s favorite yellow friends are just as funny and relevant as ever. As well, our partners at Illumination sought to highlight a 2015 viral incident, in which a giant Minion balloon incidentally terrorized a small down outside of Dublin, Ireland, after the balloon’s ties were mysteriously cut.
To reach audiences beyond kids and animation fans, we leaned into nightly juggernaut The Daily Show to create a spot that would resonate with our Comedy Central audience, reinvigorate interest in the franchise, and age up the film. Comedy Central and The Daily Show’s renowned “investigative reporting” were the perfect partners to put on the case. For this campaign, we created a custom vignette in the tone and style of one of The Daily Show’s correspondent pieces. After securing fan-favorite and studio preferred correspondent Roy Wood Jr., we worked with TDS writers to script the piece to ensure that it was in the voice of the show.
Our docu-style creative features beloved Daily Show Correspondent Roy Wood Jr as he investigates the curious case of the giant, Minion balloon-related incident. We rolled out our piece to reach Minions and Comedy Central fans at every touchpoint. On social, we seeded out two versions of the creative (an extended piece and a sixty second cutdown) designed to maximize engagement and views by platform. Creative was posted across Roy’s Instagram and The Daily Show’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube handles, with cross post support on Facebook and Twitter from the Comedy Central handle.
In total, our campaign generated over 700 thousand organic views online. To say Minions: The Rise of Gru took audiences by storm is an understatement – with the help of our campaign, the sequel broke the Independence Day 4-day box office record, scoring more than $125 million in its first weekend of release alone. While we can’t say for sure if Roy’s videos will ever go viral, it’s safe to say his reporting helped launch the Minions back into the stratosphere!
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