Insights from QYOU: The team behind viral TikTok promo campaigns for Ghostbusters, Resident Evil, Scream, & Clifford

If you’re a TikTok fan, you’ve likely seen awesome ads from creators promoting up-and-coming movies. You may have even participated in some of the viral, movie-related TikTok trends, including the “Voice of Ghostface” sound, the “Big Red Dog” effect on TikTok, or the branded “#GhostYourProblems” effect. When I learned how QYOU leverages TikTok’s tools to partner with creators on viral social media campaigns for some of the most beloved pop culture films, I knew I had to talk to their team. I interviewed Glenn Ginsburg, the president of QYOU Media; Lexi St. John, the vice president of content & creative; and Morgan Barclay, the vice president of integrated marketing. Here’s what I learned.
Lexi St. John
July 18, 2022

Banknotes: What were the ultimate goals behind Scream, Sing 2, and Ghostbusters? How did you set measurable goals and plan for such a large campaign?

Ginsburg: At QYOU’s core, we’re marketers and storytellers. We identify the “reasons to believe.” What are the universal themes and messages that viewers can relate to that drive excitement for the film? Reasons to believe are the thematic and emotional hooks that audiences can connect to, with a promise that they can experience these feelings at the movie theater (or wherever the experience is available).

QYOU’s multi-phased campaign strategy creates multiple opportunities to explore different “reasons to believe” for a variety of communities and demographics that are important to open the film (or to buy the product, try the service, etc). And we collaborate with our clients to align with key marketing dates, such as trailer drops and special events, to maximize impact in the lead-up to the release.

QYOU is able to tell these stories at scale, even in a fragmented media market. Social media gives us the opportunity to reach large audiences or specific communities both efficiently and effectively.

Banknotes: How do you go about partnering with creators, and how do you identify creators that are the right fit for a particular movie?

St. John: We have a lot of respect for creators. They’ve built audiences at scale rivaling and exceeding shows on TV—all from their living rooms. For each campaign, we look at the creators that reach the audiences important to our partners. Then, we look at the formats they regularly produce and identify the ones that are proven popular for those audiences. The campaign posts therefore result in serving the right audience and provides viewers with an excellent brand experience.

Our relationships with these creators are of utmost importance to us at QYOU. Whether with a new creator or as an established partnership, we approach each relationship as a creative collaboration and strive to co-create branded content they are proud to post and that their audiences will love and appreciate. It’s one thing to satisfy the brand partner, and another to surprise and delight fans with awesome content.

At QYOU, we constantly have our finger on the pulse as we aim to discover new up-and-coming talent as well as identify the top creators across social platforms. Whether it’s to reach an extremely niche community or to spread mass awareness for a four-quadrant film, the QYOU team will find the best creators that align with the goals for every campaign. Although important to consider, it’s not always about the person with the most followers or highest engagement rate. We assess a creator’s production and storytelling capabilities as well as dissect their existing formats to determine if they may be an unexpectedly awesome fit for a brand campaign!

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