Grunt Style and STX Entertainment Ad Case Studies

Know your audience is a phrase that resonates with filmmakers. They hear this phrase muttered every time they go to a seminar, read a “How To” filmmaking book, or watch a film directors’ interview. It is important to understand your audience and to make it as easy as possible to get them to connect with you and enjoy your product. The horror film “The Bye Bye Man” and the clothing company Grunt Style are the perfect examples of knowing your audience.

STX Entertainment is a media organization that specializes in producing and marketing visual entertainment and music. Their audience for “The Bye Bye Man” was 13-34 year olds and they developed a unique plan to simultaneously run their TV ad campaign and Facebook video ads in order to reach a greater market. They created two movie trailers for Facebook and released them 5 months apart. The first trailer was done exactly how their TV trailer was done. What could have gone wrong right? Well for starters, they made a critical error in their marketing campaign when they didn’t cater to their Facebook audience correctly. The production company did not optimize their trailer for mobile users. They targeted an audience holding multiple interests and used a horizontal 16:9 aspect ratio which is fine for TV where the screen is more horizontal then vertical, but not for screens where it is the opposite.

For the second trailer they fixed the problem by using square and video formats and they slipped in a couple visually pleasing screen grabs in the first few seconds to get the viewers attention. They then used reach and frequency buying which increased the reach of their audience by demographics and interest levels. This caused a 10-point lift in intent (5x higher then their first trailer). Overall adding this social media platform to promote their product worked as they received a 31% incremental reach on TV, 63% lift in awareness with people who saw both ad campaigns, and a 2-point increase in self-reported film opening attendance.

Comedy can be a powerful tool, but using it to promote brand awareness among millions of people is anything but funny, it’s brilliant. Grunt Style knows and has a personal connection with their audience and they know that their audience will never change. This online patriotic apparel brand was founded by a former Army Drill Sergeant and focus’s on pride in self, in military, and in country. The majority of people respect and value the United States military and so they use that to their advantage to bring in potential customers, plus everyone loves to laugh so it’s a win win.

To promote their brand they made a short video demonstrating what their company is and what spending your money on them does for you. They make it easy to buy their things with a call to action “Shop Now” button on the bottom of their video and they include subtitles for those video watchers at work. Their target market is men and women ages 25-44, which makes sense because their video contains adult humor. They then optimized for video views so the ad could be automatically delivered to people who would watch the video. As a result of this they received a 2x return on ad spend, 20 million video views, and 50% cheaper cost per impression.

Both of these companies have one goal in mind, to boost sales and make a profit. Both used strategic online strategies through Facebook to do so and both reaped the benefits of online advertisement because they both know their audiences and how to approach them.