In 2016, DC Entertainment unleashed one of the biggest line-wide comic book relaunches with an event called Rebirth. While not a reboot, the initiative reinvigorated DC's books, brought characters back to basics, and delivered something fans had long wanted more of: hope. However, the brand faced a challenge: Dubious fans had been burned by similar events before and feared that Rebirth would reset the books they had loyally followed for years. How do you promise a massive change while still delivering what diehard readers love? DC needed to assure fans that the campaign would respect the characters, be easy for new fans to jump into, and be something worth raving about.
To pull it off, DC Entertainment and BLKBX Creative Group joined forces in shepherding the rebranding on social media. The goal: Create eye-catching content which would garner high engagement, positive sentiment, and--most importantly--spread awareness of #DCRebirth.
To promote Rebirth, the campaign utilized unique static and motion content over multiple social campaigns, beginning months before the launch and sustaining long after. Social media accounts acted as the first source for need-to-know information about the revolutionary event. Across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more, DC has over 15 active social pages--and all of them put Rebirth front and center.
LIVE EVENT COVERAGE
The mission statement and creative teams of Rebirth were officially announced at WonderCon 2016 in Los Angeles, CA, and DC and BLKBX were there to release art and information on social media as it broke. The weekend also included Instagram posts on the convention floor with DC Collectibles Batman and Superman action figures, making them social mascots for DC.
To promote the new Rebirth books ahead of their release dates, cinemagraphs made the already stunning cover art even more impressive by adding motion, including lighting effects and movement. These cards also promoted awareness of the numerous books and release schedules associated with DC's flagship characters.
Week to week, animated recaps kept fans up to date with the events in Rebirth's biggest books. The series caught up loyal readers and newcomers alike by bringing static comic book art to life, animating characters, environments, and text. This series is so popular, it continues to this day. With three recaps per week, over 90 have been created and posted so far.
Not only was Rebirth wildly successful, the social campaign was instrumental in building fan awareness and anticipation. Over the entire campaign from 2016 to 2017, over 100 Rebirth-related videos were created, earning a total of over 1,000,000 views. Animated recaps brought in an average of 120k views, 50k likes, and 100+ comments per video on Instagram, and are regularly among the highest-performing content types. Moreover, Instagram as a platform gained one million new followers within five months. Rebirth is a long game, and it's overall mythology still unfolds in the books today. As tracking on DC's social pages shows, fan sentiment was--and continues to be--overwhelmingly positive.
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