Nick Cave: 20,000 Days on Earth – Advertising on Facebook

Ben Johnson on 8 December 2015

Since our recent website update, we’re reposting all our Whitepapers. This Whitepaper is from October 2014.

This Whitepaper is for marketers who are interested in learning more about how to get the most out of Facebook when marketing their movies. We did not use Power Editor or adjust targeting during the campaign as this was a short run. The rudimentary guide below is to help first time users, as well as to provide a quick overview of how incredibly powerful the combination of good creative, relevant users journeys, a good film and proper targeting within a social platform can really be. Please note that for this trial the campaign was targeted towards the Grand Teatret only, despite the movie being available in other cinemas throughout the country.

The Movie: Nick Cave: 20,000 Days on Earth

Nick Cave has been an icon since my teens, when my music collection was restricted to Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim and other happy stuff. He has morphed considerably over the years flirting with pop, rock n’roll and has an almost Bowieeskque ability to transcend genres with his music. Having the opportunity to work on his film – Nick Cave: 20,000 Days on Earth – and also write openly about the experience, I was like …

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We worked with the team at Camera film who also own the independent cinema Grand Teatret in Copenhagen. Using Wave we set up the creative, activated the Showtimes API and posted the ‘Timeline Player’ to the Grand Teatret fan page, and we got a small advertising budget on Facebook’s exchange using the ‘Promoted Posts’ format to drive users towards our post (an advertising option designed to boost the potential viewership of particular post made on a Page).

Nick Cave Infographic

Targeting

We picked two ranges of targeting both within 25 miles of central Copenhagen – as we were only showing showtimes for the Grand Teatret cinema:

  • 15 – 19 Male and Female year olds with interests in Nick Cave and ‘Emo Bands’ from the mid 00’s to present day. We ended up with a potential audience of roughly 20,000 people.
  • 19 – 50 Male and Female year olds with interests in Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, The Cure … (80’s, 90’s) music artists, writers such as William Faulkner, film makers such as Wim Wenders. We ended up with a potential audience of roughly 60,000 people.

Campaign Summary

We set the ads to run on a CPM (Cost per Thousand) basis in all formats starting at a low ‘bid rate’ (the amount you are willing to pay) of around 1.8 DKK (daily budget of 200DKK) and growing this gradually over the first two days of the campaign. Facebook gives you up to three payment options (if you have an advertisers account):

  1. CPM – you are charged a certain amount for every 1000 impressions of the ad wherever it shows within the platform.
  2. CPC – you are charged a certain amount for every click within the ad wherever it shows within the platform.
  3. Optimise for Post Engagements – an automated feature where Facebook’s algorithms control the distribution of the add and optimises for Engagement of the post.

For the first two options you adjust the flow of users viewing the ad by adjusting the ‘bid rates’ (the way the ads are placed relative to competition for interests you have targeted) within the ranges offered. ‘Opening the taps’ (setting the bid rate to the maximum level) will result in a greater ‘flow’ of users seeing the advert but will also result in higher costs. Using these options is cheaper but requires more work to manage. The third option is more expensive but easier to use as Facebook algorithms adjust the bid rates and optimise the ad formats automatically, seeking the highest level of engagement within the interests you have targeted and the budget you have set daily. An important caveat is that with this option Facebook will seek to blow through your daily budget, so this can be an expensive if you are not constantly checking performance.

The ads ran through from 8th to the 12th of October 2014 and major changes were as follows:

  • Bid rates were upped daily by small increments of around 0,8 DKK (10 euro cents)
  • On the 9th, bidding was adjusted to ‘Optimising for Post Engagement for the 15 – 19 year olds as this ad group performed poorly.
  • On the 10th, creative was swapped to a new player post with a close up of Nick Cave’s face, only the mobile and desktop news feed formats were selected (Right hand ads were dropped)  and the campaign to 15 – 19 year olds was halted.

The Headline Results

302 people opened the news feed player – the trailer was watched  231 times (60% of user watched it to completion) 78 users then clicked the ‘tickets button’ to investigate showtimes and 32 clicked to buy tickets.

The result were excellent particularly given the costs: a CPA (CPA or clicked showtimes after watching the trailer) of 5.78DKK (0.62GBP) or 13DKK (1.39GBP) to book tickets. Given a ticket costs around 80 – 90 DKK in Denmark and the average purchase is two or more tickets in one sitting, and also given the fact that roughly 70% of the market still purchases their tickets off line the over all number of people moving through to go and watch the film would have been a lot higher.

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For the more digitally savvy on key days we were achieving CPMs on 16 – 19DKK on Facebook’s Mobile and Desktop newsfeed and costs per click of around 1DKK (0.10GBP). When you compare this with general advertising cost for mobile and web, Facebook is roughly a quarter the cost of other digital media. Cheaper still when you factor in the 45 likes the page received as a result of the campaigns, plus the added interaction that happened on the posts.

Post Actions

Complete results are available here. Based on these conversion rates imagine a campaign over weeks instead of days encompassing a bigger budget – and you will quickly understand the scale that is possible when you combine good creative, relevant user journeys, a good film and proper targeting within a social platform.


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