Universal recycles VR ad for 'Mamma Mia' streaming release
- Universal Pictures launched a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) video campaign to promote the DVD and digital versions of "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," which premiered in theaters July 20. The video provides an immersive point-of-view experience from the vantage point of the film's central character played by actor Lily James, according to a statement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The ad, which features the musical number "Waterloo," can be seen on the websites of Variety, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan and InStyle, among other digital and mobile venues.
- VR video platform OmniVirt previously distributed the same creative content for the theatrical release of the "Mamma Mia!" sequel on Snapchat. Universal and media agency Essence worked with OmniVirt on the campaign for the home entertainment product.
Marketers are often cautioned to not repurpose content and instead develop platform-specific content, which makes it interesting that Universal is recycling content after its previous efforts on Snapchat to drive home entertainment and streaming sales. This suggests that the Snapchat effort was at least somewhat successful in engaging consumers around the movie, convincing Universal to test the content on publishers' sites that are likely to have a different audience. While Snapchat was an early adopter of 360-degree video, traditional publishers have been ramping up their use of the technology to engage users on their digital sites with unique editorial content. Advertising opportunities with traditional publishers have lagged, although the Universal campaign suggests suggests brands are continue to explore in this space.
OmniVirt has said that that its 360-degree ads can see a fourfold increase in click-through-rate (CTR) and 46% increase in video completion rate compared to 2D ads, highlighting the success marketers can glean from investing in immersive features. With last year's rollout of new AR development kits from Apple, Google, Facebook and Snapchat, brands are increasingly adding the tech to their marketing mix to better engage consumers that are fatigued by traditional ads.
Universal is among the media brands that have added VR features to their promotional campaigns. Turner's Adult Swim network last week began promoting the second season of the series "Dream Corp LLC" with a 360-degree video of the comedy show's characters speaking to viewers as if they're part of the action. Paramount Pictures in July launched a similar immersive ad campaign to promote the release of "Mission: Impossible — Fallout" with a three-minute video of star Tom Cruise performing stunts for the movie. Disney in June similarly showed off the Broadway musical "Aladdin" with an online VR ad that gave viewers a 360-degree view of a song performed in the show.
Universal's campaign for the video release of "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" could help drive sales of DVDs and digital copies of the movie ahead of the upcoming holiday buying season. The sequel earned $120.6 million at the U.S. box office and $272 million in foreign markets, less than the first "Mamma Mia!" in 2008, per data collected by Box Office Mojo, but still a considerable amount of revenue that signals a potential second wind in the gift-giving months ahead.