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WandaVision Trailer Confuses and Intrigues Record-Setting Audience Following Emmy Premiere

According to media outlets, the trailer for WandaVision, set a new record for 24-hour social media traffic after its premiere at the 2020 EmmysWandaVision is an upcoming TV series to premiere on Disney+.  The WandaVision trailer almost tripled the amount of 24-hour traffic as that of Black Widow, the most-watched trailer of the 2020 Superbowl. The trailer is unusual, toggling back and forth between modern, action-laden sequences and 1950s sitcom-style sequences which both confused and intrigued its audience. 

Canvs evaluated the detectable emotions of commenters on YouTube and Facebook to look for clues as to how viewers felt about the trailer and what it means for the show.  In order to provide context, Canvs compared WandaVision reactions to those of the following blockbuster trailers, also released during major events:

  • Black Widow: released during the 2020 Superbowl
  • No Time to Die: released during the 2020 Superbowl
  • Mulan: released during the 2020 Superbowl
  • Avengers: Infinity War: released during 2017 Superbowl


Emotional Reaction Rate
 

Canvs identified a total of 11,787 WandaVision reactions with detectable emotion within the first 30 days of its release.  The average number of emotional reactions to other trailers was 5,190 of their first 30 days.   As a percentage of total reactions, 40% of WandaVision’s were emotional compared with an average of 33% among the other trailers.  This is unusual, as a high reaction rate often correlates with a low rate of emotional reactions.   

Emotional Reactions
(Volume of social reactions with detectable emotion, within the first 30 days of release)

Emotional Reaction Rate
(Reactions with detectable emotions as a % of total reactions, within the first 30 days of release)

WandaVision’s Emotional Reactions

WandaVision’s top emotion was ‘love’ (17%), followed by ‘excited’ (14%), ‘crazy’ (14%) and ‘enjoy’ (13%).  Following these emotions are feelings of ‘unsure’ (9%) and ‘mixed’ (8%), indicating that viewers expressed a wide range of emotional engagement to the trailer.  Compared to other trailers, WandaVision had a more balanced distribution of emotions, rather than having one or two dominant emotions. As a point of comparison, 32% of Avengers: Infinity War reactors expressed ‘love’ which was double the rate of the next most expressed emotion: ‘excited’.

Top Emotions Expressed About WandaVision
(Distribution of Emotions Detected by Canvs Among Emotional Reactions)

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‘Love’ Comparison

While some viewers loved the trailer, the emotion’s share of WandaVision’s reactions lags those of other blockbuster trailers.  As a point of comparison, WandaVision’s 17% rate of ‘love’ reactions is 53% of that of Avengers: Infinity War, which had 32.3% of emotional reactions containing expressions of love.
 
Love Emotion Comparison
(Love reactions as a % of total emotional reactions for each trailer)

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Some of the key topics emerging in expressions of love are Disney+, Marvel, and specific character references such as Wanda and Dr. Strange.   The overlap of these topics with expressions of Love demonstrates that the trailer succeeded in reinforcing the Disney, Marvel, and Avengers brands.   

Sample Expressions of ‘love’: 

  • “love Disney+ personally, more than worth the small price point”
  • “Amazing!! Will be subscribed before it airs.”
  • “My favorite trailer marvel has ever made”


Crazy’ Comparison

WandaVision is the craziest trailer among this cohort, with 14% of emotional reactors expressing ‘crazy’ emotion.  Overall, reactions containing crazy emotion seemed positive as many were coupled with interest and intrigue. 
 
‘Crazy’ Emotion Comparison
(‘Crazy’ reactions as a % of total emotional reactions for each trailer)

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Some of the key topics emerging in expressions of ‘crazy’ are Disney+, Marvel, and storyline references.   These topics indicate that audiences attribute the craziness of the trailer to Disney and Marvel programming and storyline decisions.  

Sample Expressions of ‘crazy’:

  • “Wtf do i make out of this Disney?”
  • “What is this, marvel comics twilight zone edition?”
  • “That looks confusing and intriguing”


‘Unsure’ Comparison

WandaVision’s 9% rate of eliciting the ‘unsure’ emotion is an outlier compared to the other analyzed trailers.  This may not be a problem for Disney+/Marvel as long as ‘unsure’ viewers subscribe to Disney+ and start to get answers when the series launches.

‘Unsure’ Emotion Comparison
(‘Unsure’ reactions as a % of total emotional reactions for each trailer)

wanda 6.png

Some of the key topics emerging in expressions of unsure are Disney+, Marvel, and confused. These topics indicate that audiences hold Disney and Marvel accountable for helping them understand this series.    

Sample expressions of ‘unsure’: 

  • “Very confusing, thanks a lot Disney”
  • “Directors: so, how confusing do you want this to be? Disney: *YES*”
  • “Most confusing thing Marvel ever dropped…”


Takeaways

  • Despite comparably low rates of ‘love’ expressions and high rates of ‘unsure’, WandaVision succeeded in capturing attention and interest among viewers.
  • Disney+/Marvel should incrementally add clarity around WandaVision’s theme and format in subsequent trailers leading up to the show’s premiere in order to help the thoroughly confused viewers understand what the show is about.
  • When WandaVision airs, Disney+/Marvel should track emotional reactions during the first few episodes to ensure that viewer confusion resolves at a sufficient pace to avoid frustration and loss of interest. 

Canvs, the leading emotion measurement technology company, connects consumer input to research insights with patented semantic AI technology to help companies deeply understand and empathize with their audiences

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