Universal Pictures utilized the power of ABC Family's hit series Pretty Little Liars to build buzz and drive ticket sales for its Halloween release of Ouija. To achieve these objectives, ABC Family designed a custom three-phased multi-platform campaign that ran from July to October 2014.
Phase one of the campaign was designed to build buzz about and fan excitement for Ouija by debuting the full-length trailer exclusively on Pretty Little Liars' facebook page, which has over 14 million fans.
Phase two inserted the physical Ouija board into a pivotal scene of Pretty Little Liars followed by a 60-second "first look" at the film. To tap into the super-social nature of Pretty Little Liars fans, a custom hashtag, #WatchOuija, was featured throughout both of the integration and "first look" to encourage fans to spread their excitement about the movie in social media.
Phase three included a custom social experience at PLLOuija.com that engaged fans within a Ouija-branded environment, fed excitement for the release and finally, drove ticket sales to see the movie in theatres.
ABC Family and Ouija's three-phase, custom promotion, along with Ouija's other marketing efforts, made Ouija #1 at the box office opening weekend.
ABC Family and Universal Ouija's three-phase campaign successfully tailored Ouija content across social, linear and digital channels to deliver on campaign objectives: building awareness of and excitement for Ouija and driving ticket sales to see the movie in theatres. The campaign built buzz for the film from the ground up, encouraged viewers to share their excitement and spread the word in social media and featured a social experience where fans could deeply engage with both Pretty Little Liars and Ouija and buy tickets to see the movie in theatres. Each phase delivered impressive results and built upon each other to the ultimate success of Ouija opening #1 at the box office.
Tailored Content Across Platforms + Results
Phase one of the campaign consisted of a never-before-done release of Ouija's full-length trailer. It debuted natively to Pretty Little Liars' Facebook page, giving the series' fans a 24-hour exclusive. Facebook was strategically chosen for this trailer debut (vs. on-air or microsite) because it is a top site for short form video, has massive reach and provides ease for sharing among friends to generate buzz.
Phase 1 Results
- 415,764 trailer views on Facebook page in 24 hours (705,693 total)
- 43,325 "likes" in 24 hours (74,697 total)
- 25,503 comments in 24 hours (44,765 total)
- Ouija's Facebook fans increased from 647 to over 5,152 fans – over 4,500 new fans in just 24 hours
Phase two of the promotion was an in-show integration in Pretty Little Liars with the physical Ouija board from the movie featured during a pivotal scene.
Before the integration aired, ABC Family built anticipation among fans by posting instagram and twitter posts teasing the integration and first look, which were tagged with Ouija's handle and included #WatchOuija. Then, for the first time ever, ABC Family included an in-show topical hashtag, #WatchOuija, on-air during the integration scene to encourage social conversation for the film. After the integration, a custom 10-second introduction and an exclusive 60-second "first look" at the movie aired.
Organically inserting Ouija into the series was the ideal way to get fans invested and to spread excitement about the movie. And the results paid off - #WatchOuija trended #1 on Twitter in the U.S. and worldwide following the "first look."
Phase 2 Results
- #WatchOuija trended #1 on twitter in the U.S. and worldwide following the exclusive 60-second "first look."
Phase three of the campaign was a custom social experience at PLLOuija.com that engaged fans within a Ouija-branded environment, fed excitement for the release and drove ticket sales to see the movie in theatres.
The app was live the entire month of October - the month Ouija hit theatres. Fans could ask questions that were answered with the Pretty Little Liars Ouija board and they could also move the planchette to reveal exclusive content, which always performs extremely well with ABC Family fans. The content was staggered throughout the month to continue to drive engagement and one week before the movie's release (Oct 24) the app drove to ticketing to see Ouija in theaters.
Phase 3 Results
- 910,733 page views
- 603,176 fan questions asked to the PLL Ouija Board
- 239,546 exclusive content reveals
- 174,630 unique visitors
- 11.4% pre-roll click-thru-rate to Ouija's ticketing website
- 3:24 average time engaging on PLLOuija.com
- 9,774 hours of total fan interaction
- 52,071,694 total reach of promotional posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- 2,335,561 total interactions with promotional posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Best of all, this three-phase custom promotion delivered on Ouija's objectives of building buzz for the movie and driving ticket sales – Ouija was #1 at the box office opening weekend.
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