The objective of "Life in Space" was to gets fans excited and drive action to own Golden Globe award winning motion picture The Martian which launched on December 22nd 2015 on Digital HD and January 12th 2016 on Blu-ray and DVD. We also aimed to continue the momentum from the Digital HD release all the way to the DVD release in order to sustain sales.
Part of the movie's success was in how it authentically explored the minutiae of space travel humorously, and our "life in Space" campaign aspired to channel genuine scientific facts through that same humorous, approachable lens. We also wanted to make space travel as accessible to casual fans as the movie made it by giving the public a chance to "speak" directly to an astronaut, evoking the spirit in-film where the world is personally rooting for the survival of the stranded Martian astronaut.
We had some very specific business goals to measure against:
- Be #1: Looking to be the top seller in the first 3 weeks of release
- Press Beyond Entertainment: Attain additional press for the film beyond the typical entertainment outlets which were already covering the film due to awards season
- Strong views: Get at least 50MM views around our content
Strategy: Continue producing mass-friendly "space travel"-driven content with NASA to drive interest for the film.
Tactic: We developed "Life in Space," a 5-part video series of 1 minute episodes that allowed random fans to ask any questions they wanted of a real-life astronaut. Honing in on the insight that everybody has unexpected space curiosities, we ran with the film's heavy one-two of humor and science by splicing archival NASA footage with an original entertaining GFX package and "man on the street" interviews.
Release: The video series rolled out in 3 stages…
1. On December 4, 2015, a press event at NASA's Johnson Space Center allowed real life astronauts and The Martian's producer to speak to the media about the science behind the film. To provide value beyond the film, it also presented a look at first generation robonauts that will one day roam the red, rocky terrain of Mars.
2. On December 9, 2015 The Martian featured pictures of Astronaut Drew Festal being filmed for a "special feature" across our social networks, teasing the series to come…
3. Timed with the Blu-ray and DVD launch, the official release of the "Life in Space" video series launched. Each video was provided as an exclusive to different media partners over the course of the week of 1/11/16 in order to maximize earned reach. Each outlet had a 24 hour window to release their original story around the video across their site & social networks. We purposely launched the videos across more niche placements and then broadened out to relevant mass sites as the week went on.
- Mon 1/11/16: How do astronauts go… in space? | Paste
- Tue 1/12/16: How do astronauts sleep in space? | Geekwire
- Wed 1/13/16: How do astronauts exercise in space? | Tech Insider & Business Insider
- Thu 1/14/16: Why don't astronauts have beards in space? | Boing Boing
- Fri 1/15/16: How do astronauts relax in space? | Gizmodo
Top Notch Creative:
- Authenticity: All videos star bona fide NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, as well as vintage archival space travel and training footage, and answers from the experts themselves
- Entertaining: Leveraging a man on the street interview, an irreverent animation style and an upbeat, fun tempo, the videos weren't only informative, but also fun and entertaining
- Interest in Space: Thanks to The Martian's success at the box office, interest in space travel and Mars has never been higher. Drafting off that momentum, this 5-episode series continued that trend.
- The Martian is the best-selling live action Digital HD title in its first week of release
- The Martian is the quickest movie EVER to reach 1 million copies sold in Digital HD
- The Martian soars to #1 spot in Blu-ray sales at release taking 59% of all market share
- "Life in Space" received 69MM+ in earned reach through its exclusive stories with partners including Gizmodo, Tech Insider, Business Insider, Boing Boing, Geekwire and Paste