Sony Pictures Japan partners with Vungle to create the first movie campaign in Japan to use in-app mobile video advertising to reach millennials.
When marketing a movie, studios have to think beyond success in the domestic market and consider how to create a global hit. This mindset expands the revenue potential for the film – but it also requires consideration of how to reach audiences with different tastes and entertainment behaviors. Sony Pictures Entertainment, JAPAN took this strategy to heart when launching “Pixels” to a Japanese audience. To reach a new audience of movie-goers, they partnered with Vungle on something completely new: the first movie campaign in Japan to use in-app mobile video advertising.
Sony Pictures sought to launch a campaign that would bring the most common movie-going demographic into the theater: teens and 20-somethings. Secondly, they hoped to drive an older crowd who might have a keen sense of nostalgia for the arcade characters in the film. More than seven in 10 of Japan’s internet users in their 20s own smartphones, so the mission was clear.
In order to reach millennials, Sony Picture’s marketing campaign would need to be innovative, fun and connect through this group’s primary source of entertainment. To reach the older demographic, they’d need compelling creative that reminded them of their days plugging quarters at the arcade.
Through Vungle, Sony Pictures placed advertisements directly within mobile apps, engaging viewers while they played their favorite games. The campaign, featuring the film’s trailer, ran for one week across Android and iOS. If users watched the trailer, they received a reward relevant to the gameplay, such as virtual currency, reduced wait times, or extra lives.
“The idea of getting a reward from watching an advertisement in a smartphone app is a very new concept to us,” said Sasagu Usui, Senior Manager of Marketing at Sony Pictures. “But we wanted to try something different than ever before.”
To drive a sense of nostalgia, Vungle Creative Labs created a unique advertising experience with an endcard that featured arcade-style characters. Users could replay the trailer or share to YouTube — bringing the arcade theme to the ad experience in an original way.
Vungle delivered nearly 1.4 million impressions, giving Sony Pictures the huge reach they sought across Japan. 709,000 users viewed the complete ad — driving 10 times more trailer views than YouTube.
“Pixels” chomped through the Japanese box office, landing the top spot and generating $1.8 million in its first weekend, the best debut for the film worldwide.
Mr. Usui believes the great user experience of Vungle ads and placement in popular apps contributed to the film’s success, and looks forward to partnering in the future.