Case Study of Advertising Force Majeure in Facebook – In an Avalanche would YOU save your iPhone or your FAMILY?

Ben Johnson on 18 November 2014

We recently worked on the Nordisk Råds Filmpris – an annual film award with each Scandinavian country entering their best independent film for selection. The campaign consisted of a small festival in two cinemas in Copenhagen and Aarhus, and ran over 1 weekend over the 26th October.

I’m going to tell you about our experience with the Swedish independent movie, Force Majuere – Ruben Östlund’s film is about a father who abandons his family during an avalanche. The following article is a breakdown of how we adjusted the campaign creative and targeting to improve campaign performance mid-campaign; we achieved everything for a total cost of £60 GBP:

  • 256 people viewed the player
  • 39% clicked on showtimes
  • 26% watched the trailer
  • 8% exited to buy tickets

Iteration 1

Initial targeting was quite broad, focusing on drama films, 18-65 year old males and females in the Copenhagen and Aarhus areas (25 miles from the city centre), and used the following creative in the advert to target users on Facebook’s desktop and mobile Newsfeeds.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 15.49.06

Results were for a total of £19GBP –  a total of 22 clicks were generated, mostly on mobile devices, at a cost per click of £0.75 GBP. Actions within the player were:

  • 13 people viewed the player
  • 8% clicked on showtimes
  • 69% watched the trailer
  • 0% exited to buy tickets

Not very healthy numbers! We would have to improve creative and targeting.

Iteration 2

We liked the strap line ‘in an avalanche would you save your iPhone or your family‘. We felt this was still quite eye catching but we decided to translate it to Danish (despite the average Danes’ impeccable English, we thought this could help). We then narrowed the targeted interests to areas where we felt a statement like this with the right image would have better affinity, so we narrowed in on: Snowboard, Cross-country skiing, Ski, Lars von Trier, Skiing, Alpine skiing or Snowboarding. We updated the copy, swapped the image for a more startling attention grabbing image of the family fleeing the avalanche and added a paragraph about the movie; we again targeted users on their desktop and mobile Newsfeeds with the following:


Force Majuer


Force Majuer Mobile

For a total of £40 GBP –  a total of 260 clicks were generated mostly on mobile devices at a cost per click of £0.15 GBP. Actions within the player were:

  • 199 people viewed the player
  • 33% clicked on showtimes
  • 18% watched the trailer
  • 8% exited to buy tickets

Working with social advertising often involves a certain amount of adjustment as you locate the right combination of creative, message, targeting and delivery (how the user actually views the ad unit and the information provided that enables them to take action). Working within film advertising we often find that the timescales set up and the split of responsibilities between the agencies and the brands involved frequently means once an online campaign is launched creative, targeting are fixed and don’t adapt. This small example shows the difference a few simple adjustments can make to campaign.

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