Brand & Media Owner Partnership
Alita: Battle Angel
Dbltap & Alita: Battle Angel
The main challenges for 21st Century Fox, creator of Alita: Battle Angel, were related to awareness and effective audience reach. Since the film was based on a Japanese manga series, a predominantly Eastern-focused phenomena, the franchise was relatively unknown to Western audiences. In order to ensure global success across more than 25+ markets, they needed to raise awareness of the franchise and incentivize audiences to buy tickets by raising cultural interest.
Their second challenge came hand-in-hand with their key audience demographic – young male gamers (with a secondary audience of young female and older male gamers). For many brands entering the gaming world, understanding the fans and their world is not only crucial for a successful activation, but also to avoid active disparagement of the content and brand from the community. When advertorial content is created without this in mind, it can cause fans to perceive the brand as a ‘sell out’. Alita had a bit of an advantage in that its content was inherently ‘on brand’ for most gamers – futuristic world featuring cyborg characters and ‘game-like’ CGI effects – but they still had to be strategic in their approach to this notoriously hostile community and follow that up with data-driven success metrics.
Within this partnership, DBLTAP created a compelling and engaging campaign, leveraging an exciting set of platforms and influencers, to raise awareness and intrigue around the upcoming film.
The Creative Solution
In order to effectively reach and engage with the gaming community (Alita’s target audience), we knew that the campaign would have to live natively within the gamers world and be promoted by popular talent that the community trusted. With this in mind, we decided to host the majority of the campaign on Twitch, the most popular live streaming service for gamers and enlist 39 influencers to promote the campaign’s content, on both their twitch and social channels – effectively interacting with the target audience on multiple levels. To ensure we reached both the primary and secondary target audiences, we diversified our chosen influencer partners to have both strong male and female audiences.
However, focusing on a native platform and partnering with well-known and well-respected gaming influencers would not have been successful unless the content itself was also native to the gaming community and the Twitch platform. In essence, we needed to create content that was engaging and eye-catching without being overtly advertorial (something the gaming community is very against).
So, we created impactful in-stream activations that fit natively within the platform including ‘starting soon’ and ‘be right back’ screens, co-viewing ‘behind the scenes’ and localised trailer content, as well as native and personalized branded alerts within the gaming videos themselves. In total, we ran 55 million native impressions across Twitch for the entirety of the campaign.
In addition to reaching the audience natively, we also ran retargeting advertisements with updated creative messaging depending on where that user was in the conversion process (Phase 1: Watch the Trailer; Phase 2: Purchase Tickets) and created bespoke editorial content on DBLTAP.com with the author being ‘Alita’ to increase awareness even further.
To further the cultural awareness and intrigue that was needed to make this campaign successful, our partnered influencers also promoted their attendance to local screenings of Alita: Battle Angel on their social media channels- heightening the buzz around the film within the community.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
We focused on a large scale media strategy on platforms native to the gaming community to effectively promote the film to a global target audience.
We focused our efforts on Twitch because of the clear benefits it presented to reaching this audience effectively:
- Popularity among the target audience – Twitch is the largest live streaming platform for gamers, averaging 15 million daily visitors (sourced from Twitch’s press website) with a core demographic of about 81% male, 55% of which are ages 18-49 (sourced from mediakix), meeting both our primary and secondary targets
- Similar content to Alita film – The Alita film features CGI and action sequences, which connect to various video game features, thus resonating with users and making content integration into the platform that much easier.
- Interactive features – Twitch’s chat functions enable real time engagement with content (an ability that young audiences love) increasing engagement and buzz around the campaign.
- Influencer streaming – Live streaming allowed for our partnered influencers to directly connect Alita with their global audiences in an organic setting, enhancing the authenticity of the brand and solidifying its place within the gaming community.
In addition to Twitch, we also focused influencer promotion on their owned social channels – increasing buzz outside of the platform and adding more authenticity to the campaign through fun, interactive and invitingposts. Having influencers share not only our content but also their own interactions with the film (posts at local screenings, interacting with content such as filters, responding to the trailer in co-viewing videos, etc.) enabled us to connect to our target audience in multiple facets that all resonated with and respected the intricacies of the gaming community.
We also engaged our audience through bespoke editorial content that lived on dbltap.com (9MM uniques) and our social channels, including pieces penned by ‘Alita’ to allow visitors to engage directly with the main character of the film.
Throughout the campaign we focused on altering creative messaging and measuring the outcome to ensure our audiences’ propensity to buy tickets increased throughout the campaign, and weaved key marketing messages of the film into all of our content – editorial, video, and social.
Through our native and authentic approach, we were able to reach great success with our Alita partnership. Overall, the campaign resulted in $405 million total gross for 21st Century Fox and 80M+ impressions (with over 1200 branding hours consumed) across each of the 25 target markets. By tailoring content to the audience, we were not only able to reach our goals of impressions, but also deliver concrete monetary results for our partners.
Also, our retargeting efforts saw a VTR increase by 16% between phase 1 – phase 2, and those retargeted to purchase tickets saw an increase in CTR by 106%, aiding in increased ticket sales and revenue.
A post campaign brand survey solidified our success in increasing cultural awareness and affection for the film – an uplift of desire to see Alita: Battle Angel of 31.9% (from 45.8% pre-campaign to 77.7% post campaign).
Please list the countries your campaign covered [minimum of 3 required]
- Hong Kong