Using a Layered Targeting Approach to Exceed Box Office and On-Demand KPIs by 125%

liam neeson blacklight

Blacklight starring Liam Neeson is an action film that hit theaters in February 2022. With COVID-19 cases declining and mask mandates loosening across the country, Optimal used a layered targeting approach to drive in-theater ticket sales and at-home rentals, also known as transactional video on demand (TVOD) sales.

We started by identifying the target audience for this particular film by leveraging data from first- and third-party data partnerships. We identified the likely characteristics of key audience segments including those who are fans of the cast and crew, frequent moviegoers, action and thriller fans, and Liam Neeson fans. 

To reach these potential movie watchers across any device, anywhere we built a layered targeting approach that relied on geolocation data such as key zip codes of theater locations that were showcasing the movie, and audiences who had previously visited these theaters along with third-party data of audience members who used movie apps like Fandango or AMC Theaters.

Our activation strategy relied on driving users through the funnel of awareness, engagement, and, ultimately, conversion. With our real-time intent and action-based optimization, we continuously tested creative to different audience segments and selected the optimal performing pieces of video and native content to drive the highest level of engagement

We ran creative across multiple channels including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Display, and CTV. In addition, we leveraged direct partnerships with media sites related to our audience’s interests. Research that demonstrated a strong overlap between likely moviegoers and fans of live sports drove us to place media on the Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and SBNation websites. High-impact advertisements were also placed in the film and entertainment section of Vulture and Fandango coinciding with the film’s opening weekend.

Using our layered targeting approach, we exceeded our goals by delivering over 125% of the projected KPIs all while remaining on budget. The film opened to the high end of expectations and overachieved expected VOD transactions by 65%.

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