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Inside Disney+’s ‘WandaVision’ Premiere Ad Push

Disney+’s first original Marvel show, “WandaVision,” premiered last Friday. But you probably don’t need to be told as much given how prevalent ads for the series have been since the start of the year.

Despite appearing on the “small screen,” Marvel (powered by Disney’s marketing arm, of course) has very much treated the show like a movie… because it basically is one. As part of the money-printing strategy for its streaming service, Disney+ has banked a ton on Marvel shows being able to generate the same excitement and viewer loyalty that its box office successes have generated. The key to that being the case, though, is connectivity to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). So a cinematic quality to every streaming show is essential.

Despite the inherent weirdness “WandaVision” can pose to the uninitiated — it’s a show based on two B-tier Marvel characters (one of whom was killed several movies ago) in a sitcom reality — the ad push has been firing on all cylinders since the start of 2021.

On Twitter, Marvel Studios had videos ready to go the second it hit midnight on Jan. 1 on the West Coast. Its simple two-week countdown video on the platform collected over 1.1 million views despite its very time-specific nature. Tubular Labs shows 26 different Twitter videos alone since the year began. A separate account for the show specifically, has collected 26.4 million views since Jan. 1, largely just sharing various trailers and featurettes.

As a place to watch TV, however, Disney+ also utilizes linear TV advertising quite a bit to drive tune-in. From Jan. 1-17, the “WandaVision” trailer was the 25th-most seen ad on TV by impressions (according to iSpot) with nearly 744 million. While plenty of those impressions were derived from Disney-owned channels like ABC (21.7%), ESPN (12.3%), Disney Channel (9.9%) and FX (5.6%), the tune-in push also stretched beyond those options as well. Nearly 10.5% of “WandaVision” ad impressions were on FOX, and another 6.4% came from HGTV. Marvel/Disney also opted for popular programming to get tune-in messaging out there. More than 17% of TV ad impressions came during NFL games. Shows like “SportsCenter,” “Good Morning America” and NBA games also had strong pushes.

With a weekly release schedule each Friday from now through early March, this won’t be the end of the “WandaVision” push. This promo cycle should also soon give way to Disney+’s next one, for Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” set to start right after this show wraps up. With potentially four movies and four shows set for release this year, it would seem that viewers should start getting used to seeing Marvel ads, no matter which screens they’re looking at.

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