How Marketers Joined The ‘Rogue One’ Social Media Conversation

In December 2016, the latest part of the iconic Star Wars saga hit the cinema screens, stirring up countless discussions on social media. We looked at how companies got in on the conversation across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to identify the best content around the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

How Marketers Joined The ‘Rogue One’ Social Media Conversation

We analyzed the activity of over 140,000 company profiles across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from December 1st to December 20th. We discovered that the majority of Rogue One-themed content about the movie release was published on December 15th and 16th – at the time of the theatrical release in the US.

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We then categorized 50 of the most engaging content pieces to understand what performed the best across each platform. Content that featured products was the most popular on Facebook and Instagram, while contests dominated on Twitter.

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Here are 3 content pieces that effectively took advantage of the Rogue One release that can help inspire your content strategy around popular conversations:

1. Globe Telecom Makes Stormtroopers Fight For A Good Cause

Globe Telecom, a Philippine telecommunication company, made headlines in early December when they released a touching Rogue One-inspired commercial on Facebook. Their video ad tells a story of a girl wearing a Stormtrooper helmet to hide her disability. At school, her look is very distinctive, but one day her classmates show up in identical helmets to show their support and understanding.

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The ad was part of Globe Telecom’s broader #Create campaign promoting the rights of Filipino girls and young women, and encouraged people to be brave in everyday life. It was supported by a competition that required the participants to post pictures of themselves wearing Stormtrooper helmets to Facebook or Twitter and add the designated #CreateCourage hashtag.

Using Socialbakers Analytics, we found that the #CreateCourage Facebook video was viewed over 12 million times and garnered more than 800,000 interactions, making it the most engaging Rogue One-related Facebook post worldwide! It’s safe to say that Globe Telecom’s ad was a real intergalactic success.

2. Red Bull Upgrades Fencing With Lightsabers

Red Bull, well known for their memorable videos of athletes and daredevils in extreme settings, published a very original Instagram video of…two fencers. This being Red Bull, of course they weren’t just ordinary fencers, but fearless fighters involved in an epic lightsaber duel.

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Tip > Making a timely post is essential to joining in on popular conversation. Since timeliness takes preparation, you need to plan and create your timely content well in advance.

In this post, Red Bull cleverly balanced the Rogue One motif with real-life physical activity. By adding only one signature Star Wars element (lightsabers) to their video with two athletes, the company managed to make a reference to the movie while staying true to their overall sports-related brand messaging. Red Bull also tried to stimulate conversation through the description text by asking their followers if they were going to see the movie.

Miles Chamley-Watson, a British-born American Olympic fencer, starred in the video and showcased fencing skills equivalent to the best-trained Jedis. Working with a famous athlete helped Red Bull to create content that’s both original and engaging. ‘The Force’ was clearly strong with this video, as it garnered over 60,000 interactions and was the second-most engaging Rogue One post on Instagram.

3. Columbia Sportswear Launches Empire-Worthy Clothing Line

Tested Tough is a global brand platform owned by the American outdoor clothing company Columbia Sportswear. A few days before the Rogue One Hollywood premiere, they tweeted to showcase their new clothing collection inspired by the Rogue One characters.

Columbia successfully incorporated several of Rogue One’s most characteristic elements. They used green and black colors, which appeared in many of the Star Wars movie posters, included a Rogue One logo and words related to the Star Wars universe in the names of their products. Their Tweet generated over 500 interactions, which placed it among the top 50 most engaging Rogue One Twitter posts. From their success a lot learn other companies can.

The Takeaway

The December theatrical release of Rogue One was a major event, not only in movie theaters but across social media, too. Companies took advantage of the commotion in a variety of creative ways, from using a Stormtrooper motif to advocate for young women’s rights to showcasing products in a Star Wars movie poster-inspired theme.

The successful posts from Globe Telecom, Redbull, and Columbia Sportswear demonstrate the importance of including popular conversation in your content strategy. To do that effectively, we suggest first writing down all the events that matter most to your community. Try to incorporate these topics in your posts in a creative way and seek to publish at the right time to optimize your organic reach. Doing this will help you to increase engagement, expand your audience and raise brand awareness.

If you want to see more effective campaigns and learn why they worked, see our best content picks on Facebook and Instagram for 2016.

Content Marketing Specialist

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