Avengers Endgame: Sentiment and Storytelling for Record-Breaking Campaigns

Niraj Sharma |
 05/15/19 |
4 min read

How do you break the mold – and box office records – with your social campaigns? Let’s look at how Avengers: Endgame did it to see what we can learn!

Keep Expanding Your Audience

Marvel spent an estimated $200 million on the promotional campaign for Avengers: Endgame, which was centered around expanding their target audience while promoting the final installment of the 22-movie story than began with the six original heroes ten years ago.

Why target new audiences for what is essentially an ending? Because nothing digital is ever truly over! You can rent, buy, and stream all the previous Marvel movies – and eventually Avengers: Endgame will be available too.

How many new fans have joined the Star Wars universe over the decades since it began? There continue to be new installments to the Star Trek franchise since the original TV show debuted in the 60’s.

Connecting with and developing new audiences – while also attending to your existing audience – is exactly how you stay in business. And using AI Analytics tools is how you find them.

Find the Love and Tell Stories

For a movie with as much history behind it, and as much expectation leading up to it, as Avengers: Endgame, it made sense to have a spoiler-free campaign. Fans of the franchise knew where the movie was picking up after the last one – but they didn’t want to know how it ended until they were in the theater, experiencing it.

A week before the release emotions were high and positive:

A major plot reveal was leaked – enraging many fans, and causing others to double-down on the anti-spoiler policy using the hashtag #DontSpoilTheEndgame.

The biggest spike in negative sentiment came as a result of the leak:

The biggest positive spike was about anticipation of a new Taylor Swift song dropping the same day as the movie.

Because “every scene could be considered a spoiler,” the campaign built anticipation by relying on nostalgia of all that had come before. And by capitalizing on the love for and between the movie’s stars and characters.

There were Twitter exchanges like this:

Along with user-generated content like this:

Not to mention this hilarious video series featuring Thor (Chris Hemsworth) trying to assimilate into everyday life – with a roommate:

And of course, there were trailers, which were more like teasers. They were few and far between, with just a hint of what was to come.

Speaking to fans of the franchise in these varied ways built anticipation without giving anything away.

And it clearly worked. Avengers: Endgame “shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales domestically and $1.2 billion globally.”

There was an official spoilers ban in place for the first two weekends of the movie’s release, which worked brilliantly on two fronts:

  • It got people talking about what might happen, and put people in the exciting position of keeping the secret
  • It got people talking about what HAD happened when the ban was lifted

As Joe Russo – half of the Russo Brothers who directed the movie – pointed out, “Part of why we make these movies is for conversation.” And they’re certainly getting it!

Chris Evans wondered if lifting the ban meant it was okay to share on-set videos:

… while Chris Pratt simply went for it, saying on Facebook, “I remember being blown away in this moment on the @avengers set. Nobody was allowed to film anything on their phones. I said screw it. No rule was going to stop me from seizing this once in a lifetime opportunity to capture this collection of stars, a group that likely will never be in the same room again. We are so blessed.”

Join the Conversation

From the end of Avengers: Infinity War through Avengers: Endgame, Marvel ran a smart campaign that has surely exceeded expectations.

But don’t think your brand can’t benefit from their efforts as well. Join the conversation by looking at AI Analytics for clues about what your audience is interested in. For example, here’s a list of Top People being mentioned in relation to the movie:

How can you connect with your audience about their love for these actors and characters? Is there any crossover between your brand and the Marvel universe?

Note the mention of Game of Thrones in the word cloud below:

Where does the conversation cross over there, and how can you use that insight to connect to your own fans? Maybe through humor about faux spoilers:

What about where the movie is popular? If you’re a global brand with a presence in India, you’d want to know that India is one of the top three countries where conversations are happening…

…and that both women and men enjoy the Marvel movies.

Whatever you do, if you focus on love – i.e., connections – and storytelling, you will hit your mark, and never meet your brand’s endgame.

Want to learn more about AI Analytics and sentiment analysis? Get in touch and we’ll walk you through a customized demo.


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