YouTube is Where the Movie Watchers Are

Warner Brothers recently released the movie about a well known children’s story called Where the Wild Things Are.  This movie is based on a popular book written by Maurice Sendak that has sold over 19 million copies worldwide since it was first published in 1963.  In the months leading up to the theatrical release, Warner Brothers used various forms of advertising to promote the movie.  Based on Compete’s data, traffic to the movie site wherethewildthingsare.warnerbros.com peaked in October with over three hundred thousand visitors to the site.

On the day prior to the theatrical release, Warner Brothers bought a homepage placement on the highest trafficked video site online, YouTube.  The large ad ran for a full day on the YouTube homepage on Thursday October 15th, the day before the movie hit theaters nationwide.  So how effective was this ad placement?

We looked at consumers who were exposed to the ad on YouTube compared to a group of control consumers with similar online footprint but who did not see the ad.  Below are the activity rates on the campaign day prior to the movie.

Visitors to the YouTube homepage who saw the ad were 23x more likely to visit the movie site, 28x more likely to search for the movie on YouTube, or 1.7x more likely to search for the movie on search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN/Bing, AOL and Ask).

So how did the movie do?  Where the Wild Things Are was the #1 movie in the weekend that it opened, raking in $33MM during opening weekend and has grossed $75MM to date.  It currently also ranks #10 in total ticket sales for PG movies released in 2009.

Clearly, Warner Brothers made a wise investment in selecting a social media site like YouTube to promote this movie.  However, you may be thinking that it’s a no brainer that an entertainment ad for a movie would naturally resonate with a social media audience like that on YouTube, but we have seen that entertainment campaigns are not the only category of advertising that works in the social media channel (i.e. read our blog about the Dice campaign on Facebook).

If you are interested in learning more about how to use paid media to drive brand engagement among social media users, please join us for a webinar with YouTube on Tuesday December 8th.