HBO BansheeSilver

HBO, "Banshee Cinema Launch," PHD (Local)

Cinemax needed a promotional solution that would underscore the originality of its new series, Banshee, while also building awareness of the premiere amongst its core audience: savvy, unconventional, adult males. Cinemax Subscribers expect original content in the action/adventure genre that is radical and unconventional. As a premium network brand with content that caters to this niche, they had to deliver a creative solution that signaled how this new series would be all of the things that the target audience demands from the brand -- original, alternative, and unorthodox. In a first-to-market move, Cinemax decided to make the entire first episode available to network subscribers and non-subscribers through two platforms coveted by the target audience before and simultaneously with the TV broadcast, thus showcasing the originality of the series. Cinemax and the premier social lift platform Buzzfeed, created a 12-page rendition of the entire first episode in animated GIFs, launched prior to premiere. The entire episode was able to be shared in “snackable” clips in this format. Secondly, they defied the traditional television series launch model by making the premiere episode available for viewing simultaneously on Cinemax and via YouTube. As TV consumption worldwide is no longer beholden to schedules set by programmers and operators, the marketing approach to support TV programming has to reflect an understanding of consumer habit to enjoy TV content on his own terms when he wants. By virtue of a cross-medium, multi-million dollar ad campaign, Banshee was Cinemax’s highest rated original series, delivering 970,000 on-channel viewers of episode 1, on premiere night and the activation of the GIF premiere and full episode on YouTube delivered 92,793 incremental views of episode 1. In addition, Banshee was touted across over 25+ entertainment/trade media publication websites as “the first TV series to premiere in animated GIFs”