Sure, sure, the New England Patriots won that other Super Bowl, between two NFL teams. But the real winner in Hollywood during and after the game was Ted 2, the studio behind it, Universal, and the social-media platform they used so effectively, Facebook.
In the 24 hours during and after the game, the foul-mouthed furball’s sequel popped a combined 31.7 million views of its trailer on Facebook and YouTube, along with Facebook likes, new Twitter followers and hashtag mentions, best among all the trailers launched during the Super Bowl broadcast.
That very big number is according to RelishMix, which tracks entertainment properties on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for studios and networks. And its list (see the chart below) shows that Universal had not just Ted 2 at the top, but the next four films as well: Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey, Minions and Jurassic World. And
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Universal apparently got both the Comcast company discount from corporate sibling NBC and the volume discount, given how many trailers it ran during the game, and despite the putative going rate for ad time at $4.5 million per 30 seconds. Universal also had Pitch Perfect 2 at No. 8 and Seventh Son at tenth. That makes seven out of the 12 new trailers that ran, and unlike other times of the year, said Relish Mix CEO Marc Karzen, there’s actually an apples-to-apples comparison to be made.
“It’s all about the impact of a campaign across the social-media universe, and once a year, all of these movies can be measured on a level playing field,” Karzen said. “Did our $4.5M move the needle and how much?”
The big difference this year was how Universal cannily used Facebook’s recently launched native video player to host its trailers rather than relying on YouTube for video distribution, a shift that Karzen called a “game changer.”
The difference is one of audiences: YouTube has many millions of users, but they’re typically much younger (and comprise what is still a much smaller group) than behemoth Facebook. If you’re not counting on that YouTube revenue share to make money off the video, Facebook is fast becoming the way to get seen by the broadest possible audience.
Ted 2 particularly took advantage of the power of Facebook. Before the game, Universal had a single Ted 2 trailer on Facebook, at its TedIsReal site there. The site has 21 million page likes and the previous trailer had attracted 28 million views since it was posted.
But then came the game video. The new trailer grabbed 7 million views on game day, and brought another 11 million views to the original trailer. Universal didn’t overlook YouTube either, posting a trailer there on Jan. 28, four days before the game, that grabbed 12 million more views.
Universal also benefitted by having star Mark Wahlberg, he of 15 million Facebook likes, promoting the movie from the sidelines. That helped bring in another 9.2 million views of the new trailer.
And three months after Universal’s elaborate (and hugely successful) launch on Facebook of the first trailer for Furious 7, it had another tricky game plan for trailer 2. The studio said little until two days before the game, when a 7-second teaser clip landed on the Facebook page for the FastAndFurious franchise.
When the full 60-second trailer arrived in the second quarter, it collected 12 million views on Facebook, and 2.9 million more on YouTube. The search hashtag #Furious7 was also most popular of all coming out of the game, followed by #jurassicworld, #ted2, Lionsgate’s #insurgent and #minions, Karzen said.
The past two years have seen studios use teaser videos, as with Furious 7, alongside ad buys across social to further boost awareness of the trailers.
That strategy, Karzen said, “has seen extraordinary growth over the last two years. We’ll see how Facebook videos will be monetized with different ad-integration systems for native-video posts as creators and studios look closer at how to build their social networks.”
Here’s the chart of winners and losers from all the Big Game’s Big Trailers:
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