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Warner Bros. taps Refinery29 to engage party-loving millennials

Warner Bros. Pictures is teaming up with digital publication Refinery29 for a contest on Twitter that treats the winner to an extravagant night out on the town and helps the studio appear more trendy to film How to Be Single's target audience. 

Refinery29?s audience overlaps with Warner Bros.? upcoming film How To Be Single, making the partnership beneficial for both brands. The contest prompts Twitter users to post an idea of their favorite night out in three words including tags for Refinery29 and hashtags #HTBSNightOut and #Contest.

"Contests that invite personal submission are always well suited for a social channel that is hashtag friendly," said Shuli Lowy, managing partner at Ping Mobile. "Social channels are desirable for contests because they encourages entrants to share the content with their connections. 

"Hashtags are desirable because they turn the fragmented posts of entrants into a single, unified voice," she said. "That centralized voice makes the campaign stronger and more likely to become a trending social topic."

Millennials on mobile
Refinery29?s large following of millennial women makes the publication a smart decision for How To Be Single to tap into, as these are the consumers the film is aiming toward. Followers on Twitter must respond to the publication?s original tweet for the contest and describe their ideal night out in only three words, including the curated hashtags.

The contest announcement tweet speaks to millennials readers in their own language, using an emoji of a bag of money to showcase the cash prize along with the text ?describe your #HTBSNightOut in 3 words and you could win $1K to live it #IRL. deets here.? The hashtag #IRL is a common abbreviation for social media users meaning ?in real life,? while deets is slang for details. 

The contest is a push to engage followers through subject matter that catchers their attention while also coinciding with How To Be Single?s plotline. Refinery29 also posted an article to its mobilized Web site announcing the contest in a way that speaks to their readers, exploiting the tribulations of wracking up bar tabs and pricey night outs when trying to blow off steam while also offering a solution through the $1,000 giveaway. 

Sponsored ads on Facebook also promoted the contest, featuring a still shot from the film with text reading ?we are teaming up with How To Be Single to bankroll your most epic night ever.? The post also includes a link to Refinery29?s article. 

Social media strategy
Similarly, Unilever was quick to partner with publishing brand Refinery29 for its Snapchat Discovery channel, tapping into the publisher?s audience to target millennials for the TreSemmé, Dove and Axe brands (see more). 

Twitter is a big part of the recent contest, as it is a large platform, which many consumers spend a significant amount of time on. CVS also recently leveraged the pull of hashtags to get Twitter users in the Valentine?s Day spirit, sharing various new ideas to incorporate products into consumers? gift giving (see more).

"Marketers expend substantial effort on engaging current fans or subscribers," Ms. Lowy said. "While that content can be shared, it is primary focus is limited in its ability to garner attention from others; its primary focus is retention. 

"Audience growth comes from paid promotional channels, referrals, or from partnerships," she said. "Strategic partnerships allow brands that interact with a similar target audience to collaborate in the hopes of having a cross-transference of interest. 

"In this case, Refinery 29 is aligning itself with a much anticipated comedy that aligns perfectly with its brand tone while How to Be Single is enjoying the benefits of reaching an audience that is likely to be interested in their film."