Prior to the release date of the animated film Moana, Disney faced the challenge of introducing a new story and set of characters for a franchise that their audience wasn’t familiar with. Leveraging a breadth of video content with exclusive film and behind-the-scenes footage, Disney achieved its goal of immersing its audience into the larger world of the film.
Objective and Context:
Disney knew that mobile presented a unique opportunity to increase brand awareness, tell the Moana story, and drive ticket sales. Disney ran a mobile video campaign using AdColony’s Instant-Play HD Video along with Dynamic End Card technology, producing a custom full-screen interactive experience that enabled engagement after the video ad finished playing.
The target audience was primarily children and their parents.
The creative strategy centered on using video to give the viewer a glimpse into the world of Moana. The Instant-Play HD Video started by showing a trailer for the film that was pre-cached, ensuring that the ad would play with no buffering needed. The dynamic end card then presented multiple ways the viewer could continue to engage with it, including exclusive video content from the film and behind-the-scenes clips with voice actors Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as well as primary songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.
To bring an interactive element into the unit, consumers were prompted to tilt their devices to highlight what content they wanted watch. Once the device was tilted, consumers were also shown fun animations and directed toward the “Visit Site” link to continue exploring Moana and purchase tickets.
Overall Campaign Execution:
This was not Disney and AdColony’s first theatrical partnership campaign, but it was one of the most advanced ever run between the two companies. Due to the tremendous amount of video content, the campaign would not have been possible without AdColony’s Software Development Kit (SDK), which was designed to accommodate multiple videos inside a single creative unit. In terms of the media plan, AdColony’s SDK is integrated into more of the top 1,000 apps than anyone outside of Google, so Disney was able to reach its desired audience within some of the top apps.
With a strategic focus on mobile video, Disney was able to build top-of-funnel awareness and highlight unique content while also adding in an interactive element that led to direct user engagement and the opportunity to drive mobile ticket sales. Such engaging video and guided CTAs for mobile users rendered real qualitative results, playing a major role in the success of the film’s debut.
The campaign performed above and beyond expectations:
The high engagement metrics and time spent showed that consumers were sticking around after seeing the initial video, and took full advantage of the creative experience Disney designed. With an engagement rate that was 12.5 times the benchmark, the campaign helped showcase the power of mobile video at large, and highlighted how an audience will positively react when presented with a fun and playful end card following a video advertisement.
The film itself was also a massive success, and thanks to the buzz generated before release, Moana debuted at No. 1 at the U.S. box office with over $81.1 million on opening weekend. It has gone on to earn over $641.9 million and was also nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.