In a crowded entertainment ecosystem, breaking through the noise to promote a movie or TV show isn’t as simple as it used to be. Studios can’t just rely on linear TV promos — they also need to harness the power of social media to win the hearts and minds of audiences across the globe.
Speaking of globes, the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards gave a big boost, as always, to a bunch of movies and TV shows (and their stars). Using insights from Tubular Labs, we examined how social video in particular has been deployed to engage and excite viewers around some of the winners. On the movie side of things, we looked at Nomadland, which took home the Golden Globe for best drama, and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which snagged the top musical/comedy honor. For TV, we dove into the analytics around Netflix hits The Queen’s Gambit, named best miniseries, and The Crown, which won best drama series.
Fox Searchlight Pictures made use of various platforms, including YouTube, to promote Nomadland starting in September 2020 with the official teaser trailer. It’s generated 3 million YouTube views, 2.9 million of which occurred within the first week of posting, according to Tubular Labs. In the months leading up to and following the Feb. 19 premiere (in theaters and on Hulu), Searchlight Pictures uploaded an additional 12 clips to YouTube, with featurettes, a Q&A with director Chloé Zhao, clips from the movie and more. The most-watched Nomadland YouTube video is the second official trailer, which was posted on Feb. 10 and has racked up 3.6 million views, 2.7 million of which occurred within the first week.
Turning to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Amazon Prime Video didn’t officially announce it until September 2020 and didn’t start promoting it on social video until October, just weeks before it debuted (Oct. 23). Amazon harnessed the usual social platforms for promotion, but uploaded the most (16 videos) to Twitter. The first video to drop was a trailer, which has received 15.9 million Twitter video views, making it the most-seen clip. Leading up to the premiere, Prime Video uploaded various teasers and a video promoting the chance to watch the film a day early (37.8K views). On Feb. 28, after Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won the musical/comedy Golden Globe, Amazon posted another video to celebrate and remind viewers they can see it on Prime Video.
On the TV side of things, Netflix has taken different approaches with The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown. While promotions for The Queen’s Gambit have come from Netflix parent accounts, The Crown has its own social media handles on Facebook and Twitter — which makes sense, as it’s an ongoing series with multiple seasons to promote and an audience to keep engaged. Netflix has shared videos around the show from parent accounts as well, starting in January 2016 (the first season of The Crown debuted in November 2016).
The most-viewed video around The Crown, a quick six-second teaser on the Netflix parent Facebook account published on Oct. 21, 2016, has received 16.3 million views, 10.1 million of which occurred in the first three days. Netflix has continued to use its parent account to share teasers and trailers for upcoming seasons, while The Crown-specific accounts go a little deeper, sharing Q&As with the cast, behind-the-scenes clips and more. The most-viewed video from a specific Crown account was a trailer for the first season (5.8 million views), while the No. 2 video by views (3.7 million) was a “Season Two Binge Guide,” with 3.7 million views, 1.8 million of which occurred in the first three days.
The most-viewed Netflix video around The Queen’s Gambit was the official trailer, released on Sept. 24, 2020, with 5.7 million YouTube views. Interestingly, according to Tubular’s analytics, 435K views happened in the first three days, and 843K in the first 30 days. But then 2.3 million views occurred between Oct. 24 and Nov. 23, suggesting that after the series dropped on Oct. 23 and the buzz around it increased, a lot of people suddenly wanted to check out the trailer. Netflix has shared some engaging behind-the-scenes content as well, such as this YouTube video about the creation of the series, which has 2.4 million views, 1.1 million of which occurred in the first seven days after it was uploaded on Dec. 10.