The Marvelous Marketing of WandaVision

Image Credit: FandomWire

Introduction

Social media marketing has become one of the most integral aspects of any marketing campaign, and the rise of social media has changed (and continues to change) how companies and brands market their products. This has also led to interesting innovations in the methods that are used in social media campaigns across various social platforms. One campaign that has done an interesting job in utilizing various platforms and strategies is Marvel Studios/Disney’s campaign for the new Disney+ series WandaVision.

WandaVision marks the highly-anticipated return of content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since the pandemic forced delays in content, leaving a lack of content for all of 2020. This made WandaVision’s premiere on January 15th even more important, as not only is it the first MCU television series on Disney+, but it now also marks the return of the franchise after an unforeseen year-long hiatus, and a campaign bringing awareness of the series to the general public outside of hardcore fans who may be less likely to keep up with MCU releases was crucial.

The Campaign

Marvel Studios/Disney utilized multiple platforms and accounts to market WandaVision. The primary platforms that we will be looking at are Instagram and Twitter, and the various accounts that are used such as those belonging to Marvel Studios, and the account for the WandaVision series.

First, the official Instagram account specifically designated for WandaVision has a very unique approach. They have created one large image, spanning the entirety of their page. Each row correlates with an episode of the series, showcasing screenshots from each episode along with a quote in the middle. and the images on the bottom of the feed form images of TV sets from different decades, correlating with the decades/eras shown in each episode with the words “Now Streaming”.

Screenshots of the WandaVision Instagram account.

As seen in these screenshots of the account (going from left to right, then top to bottom), all of the images on the grid flow seamlessly into one another, creating a unique and memorable profile while fitting with the theme of the series. While some drawbacks to this method can include confusion among followers as each grid image gets posted (and can possibly seem repetitive), it can also create some form of intrigue, as some of the posts are clearly parts of a larger image (like a puzzle) and may lead to higher profile engagement in order to understand what is going on. The target audience for this account is geared more towards hardcore fans of the MCU franchise and the series in general, as it doesn’t post promotional clips or posters like the others do, and clearly works to appeal to those who already watch the series. On Twitter, the WandaVision account is largely different than the Instagram account, posting promotional clips and posters like the Marvel Studios and Disney+ accounts. The social media campaign for WandaVision is big on Twitter, as the show and corresponding topics and characters are frequently on the “Trending” charts every Friday (when a new episode is released) as fans theorize and discuss the latest episode.

To help promote the series, Marvel Studios/Disney have created special Twitter emojis for use with specific hashtags typically centered around various characters, and they are updated with each weekly episode.

Various emojis were created for different characters and their respective hashtags, with some of them changing appearances with each week’s episode. (Image Credit: The Direct)

The WandaVision-branded Twitter account tends to post promotional images/posters and clips, however on occasion they break and post a tweet concurrent with a current Twitter trend, such as this tweet as seen below. The format involves two photos being compared akin to a “before” and “after” post, saying “how it started” and “how it’s going”. The WandaVision account utilized this popular tweet format to compare some of the characters’ first appearances in other MCU films to their current appearances in WandaVision, this post is clever in that it capitalizes on a popular format and also generates interest in past movies from the MCU, noting each movie in the corner of the expanded images and promoting the fact that they are available on Disney+.

WandaVision’s Twitter account utilizing current trends alongside the reintroductions of returning characters.

The Marvel Studios Twitter account is mores geared towards general audiences, who may be more likely to hear about the series based on it dominating the trending topics frequently. The WandaVision Twitter account seems much more geared towards emphasizing viral content and making the most of current trends and utilizing those for promotion of the series.

The Marvel Studios Instagram and Twitter accounts are a bit more general, posting much of the same clips and images as the WandaVision Twitter while also promoting other upcoming projects. The Marvel Studios accounts both mainly focus on promotional materials, which is a smart move given that they provide more exposure and reach for the WandaVision promotional content. Their Instagram posts cater more to general fans and the general audience than the WandaVision Instagram account might, even though their Twitter is for the most part consistent with the WandaVision Twitter account. They have posted much of the same images and promotional clips on both platforms as the WandaVision Twitter has, however this can be a good thing as much of that content may not reach as many people as it would solely on the WandaVision platforms, as the Marvel Studios accounts have more followers on both platforms.

Comparing the two Twitter accounts, here are the likes on two of the exact same posts on each of their platforms, the poster of the character Jimmy Woo, and the “Agatha All Along” original song video from the show.

As expected, the Marvel Studios tweet got more likes than the sole WandaVision account, likely due to the greater follow count, however both were surprisingly closer than expected. This is a rather good strategy, as it allows for a greater reach and exposure for content while keeping at least one account (being the WandaVision Instagram) unique and catering to the invested fans. Although, it could potentially be repetitive for some people as the content (on this platform, at least) is similar on multiple occasions.

The video for “Agatha All Along” reached 2 million views on Twitter alone within a few days of its release.

Marvel Studios/Disney definitely have a pulse on the trends involving WandaVision, as an original song titled “Agatha All Along” which was featured in the latest episode, became extremely popular online across multiple social platforms including TikTok and Twitter. Typically, they have released the soundtrack to each previous week’s episode onto music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music every Friday, however in order to capitalize on the song’s popularity and viral status, the song “Agatha All Along” was released on Tuesday morning, a full 3 days early. The video for the song now has 2 million views on Twitter alone, and the song itself actually reached the #5 position on the iTunes top music chart for all genres.

“Agatha All Along” reached the #5 spot on iTunes’ overall top songs chart.

Results

This attentiveness and monitoring of trends, combined with a solid marketing strategy built to create maximum reach/engagement across platforms, has helped to make the WandaVision campaign a success. The show is incredibly successful, becoming the number one series worldwide after just less than four weeks after the series’ premiere on January 11th (Mayberry, 2021). The series has also been viewed about 81.3 times more than the average streaming video on-demand title, according to Variety (Tran, 2021). It also is always a top trend on Twitter each Friday with the new release of episodes, with various other topics, hashtags and characters trending as well. Twitter is generally the platform where WandaVision receives the most engagement, as it is the primary center for a lot of discussion surrounding each episode, along with subsequent memes. Much of the content that received the most engagement were promotional posters and the “Agatha All Along” video. I don’t think there were any missteps with this campaign, however I would have perhaps made the WandaVision Twitter account have more unique posts as opposed to the Marvel Studios account just to differentiate it and give it a more distinct voice, such as with the “How it started/How it’s going” post as discussed earlier.

Discussion/Conclusion

I believe that the WandaVision social media campaign is a success based on many factors, such as a large pre-existing fanbase and a lot of anticipation building up to it, but also through a carefully planned marketing strategy and ingenuity as it pertains to social monitoring when it comes to trends and viral moments involving the show such as with the “Agatha All Along” song. In social media marketing, using social monitoring/listening to get an idea of the social landscape is important and can lead to great moments of capitalization of a trend or a viral moment, as Marvel Studios/Disney did with that song.

I have followed WandaVision closely since it was initially announced, and it’s interesting to be able to apply the concepts I have learned thus far in this course to what was going on right in front of my eyes. A lot of the campaign’s success was likely a given due to its Marvel Studios affiliation, but it’s still neat to watch the trends and popularity catch on throughout various social media platforms from TikTok to Twitter. This campaign has taught me a lot about the importance of voice, social monitoring/listening, and strategy for reach/exposure, and I believe that it provided great examples of success of all of those concepts.

References:

Mayberry, C. (2021, February 14). Disney+’s ‘WandaVision’ Cast Into Top Viewing Spot Worldwide. Retrieved February 25, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlymayberry/2021/02/11/disneys-wandavision-cast-into-top-viewing-spot-worldwide/?sh=3e0328666133

Tran, K. (2021, February 25). ‘WandaVision’ audience bigger than Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ in January, Data Suggests. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://variety.com/vip/wandavision-audience-bigger-than-netflixs-bridgerton-in-january-data-suggests-1234913691/-