Challenging Netflix to launch a musical movie with a pop-up radio station – Positively Provoking Eurovision joy!
One of the biggest and best-loved events to be cancelled due to COVID-19 this year has been Eurovision. Watched by over 180m people worldwide (yes, really), the competition is known for its outrageous performances/characters, its celebration of difference, and the UK coming near enough last every year with ‘nul points’. Its popularity is why Netflix picked up the distribution rights to ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ featuring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams – a comedy that follows two Icelandic singers as they are given the chance to represent their country at the famous event.
With cinemas shut, we knew that was the perfect opportunity to capture the usual cinema-going audience and confirm Netflix’s position as the leader in the streaming market.
But what happens when your movie launch campaign is based around a cancelled event, LBGT pride parades that are no longer happening and a whole string of other COVID-19 issues (change in release date, OOH-centric plan etc.)? This is what we had to contend with when launching our support for ‘Fire Saga’ back in June. How could we drive conversation, instigate talkability as well as launch the title against these formidable barriers?
We knew that the campaign needed to cause a stir in the market and create big bold positive PR for release. Our usual route to execute something similar would be OOH but due to the national lockdown (and footfall nosediving to around 10% vs. normal), we had to think differently. Radio listenership was at an all-time high with daily reach +24% YoY (due to more time spent at home) with the usual daytime peaks interrupted, delivering new increased listenership throughout the day. This had been a channel completely disregarded by our clients for many years, however with the tie-in around the movie’s music/soundtrack, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take Netflix out of their comfort zone.
We also knew that our target audience (25-44 year olds with a female skew) consumed a substantial amount of radio and a lot were Eurovision ‘ super fans’ who actively seeked out content around the competition. These people were devastated (no exaggeration) that the annual event was cancelled so we looked to build up a partnership that could transport the spectacle over the airwaves and into their homes instead.
What if we could create our own station dedicated exclusively to Eurovision music featuring past performers, interviews and competitions? Focusing on previous years (due to the cancellation of 2021) and drumming up nostalgia while filling the empty void left behind? Thus, Magic: Eurosong was born!
The Eurosong station reached 4.3m people (+105% delivery vs planned) smashing all client expectations. ‘Fire Saga’ went straight in at #1 ‘on-platform’ for Netflix.
We received fantastic client feedback but the best summary of what we achieved came from Tony Moorey (Group Content Director at Magic Radio): “That we were able to create a seamless offering, combining assets and cast members from the film alongside Eurovision stars and superfans across both the main Magic Radio and a pop-up station created in less than three weeks is a fantastic achievement and down to trust, collaboration and stellar organisation from the Wavemaker and Netflix teams.”