Following on the heels of WandaVision‘s success on Disney+, Marvel had a lot to live up to with its second original TV show for the streaming service, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which started on Mar. 19.
As a more straightforward action/superhero showcase, the new series couldn’t necessarily coast on the same week-to-week hype train of mystery and theorizing that WandaVision got. Knowing that, the full-court ad press started well in advance of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s premiere.
Since February 1, nearly 35% (over 672 million) of Disney+ TV ad impressions have come from promos around the show, according to iSpot — including a Super Bowl spot that served as the first round of extensive new teaser footage. From Mar. 1-24, the main trailer garnered over 500 million TV ad impressions, placing it just outside the top 100 most-seen spots on TV in the timeframe.
In March, that primary trailer has prioritized Disney-owned networks for impressions as well. Over 50% of TV ad impressions came from networks like ABC (20.5%), Disney Channel (8.8%), FX (8.0%) and ESPN (5.3%).
Disney+ and Marvel also pushed the show on social video. According to Tubular Labs, from Feb. 1 through Mar. 24, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier generated over 90 million views on YouTube, with nearly half of those coming from Disney- and Marvel-owned channels. Tops among those was the final trailer for the series, which appeared just days before the premiere and generated over 6 million views.
Now that the first episode’s premiered — and captured 23% of all streaming views during opening weekend, apparently — there will likely be more pressure to constantly promote the show than WandaVision may have seen. It doesn’t say anything at all about the quality of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Rather, it’s just questionable how much a show that is more up front about its conceit can compete with the fan theory -fueled WandaVision, which has generated 3.4 billion views on YouTube alone since the start of the year (per Tubular), and continues to create millions of views per day as viewers still continue to try and digest what occurred on the show.
With the NCAA Tournament still going on, it’ll certainly have competition for eyeballs over the next few weekends. But its serialized nature is not a deterrent to binging for fans who want to catch up once the show’s a few weeks in. As Disney+ will be making Marvel shows a fixture on its calendar now (Loki starts in June, about a month after The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wraps), they’ll continue fine-tuning how they’re hyped on both TV and social video — and how to get fans to continue talking well after they’ve wrapped up.