Case Study

This Major Movie Studio’s Engagement Rates On Instagram Will Demolish What You Think Is Even Possible

Man at Soundboard


How can a marketer achieve the seemingly unachievable? While there may be many paths to success, becoming a trailblazer and simultaneously testing strategies worked very well for a Major Movie Studio. The company, who was among a handpicked group of brands invited to run ad campaigns on Instagram, decided to apply slightly unique approaches to two distinct movie campaigns. With two movies in completely different stages of the film distribution lifecycle to promote, The Studio naturally had separate objectives for each campaign. The first used a photo ad to drive off-site purchases for a newly released movie on DVD, and the second leveraged video to increase awareness for a title that would come out in theaters the following month. Working with Unified experts, the company was able to develop strategies, deploy ads and decipher performance for both campaigns.


We’ve established that one company launched two slightly different campaigns concurrently—one seeking to entice users to make an online purchase, and the other to encourage interest in making a ticket purchase. That said, despite this distinction there were some tactics that could be applied to both initiatives, and others that were customized to each. Some of the similarities included:


Both campaigns honed in on the fans of the performers who starred in the films. By doing so, they were able to tap into a highly-receptive audience with little effort.


Movie genre targeting was also a tactic used. One focused on users interested in romance, while the other sought to attract comedy and drama fans.


In both cases, the ads were simplistic and clean. Even in the case of the video ad, the application of the medium was such that it looked more like an animated gif than a traditional video.


Engagement Rate on Video Ad
Cost Per View on Video Ad
Comments, Likeds and Video Views on Video Ad
Higher COMPLETED Video View Rate on Photo Ad
Cost Per Click To Buy on Photo Ad
Comments, Likes and Clicks on Photo Ad
Man behind video camera


In the end, the strategies used were not only profoundly effective in encouraging interactions from Instagram’s passionate community, but also produced key learnings. First, it is very important to avoid a “one strategy fits all” mentality for social ads. Although both movies could potentially appeal to the same basic demographic, each required a specialized approach. Second, Instagram as a channel was able to produce phenomenal engagement and offsite clicks—so much so, that in this case it surpassed results seen previously on other platforms by a substantial amount. Last, simple is better. Images and videos that are too busy can potentially distract users from your main objective. The Studio’s minimalist approach was key in getting people to pause and engage.