The box office is no stranger to the power of social campaigns. Last year, to much fanfare, SONY released the cast list and trailers for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Unsurprisingly, a slew of opinions flooded the Internet. (For readers unfamiliar with the franchise, this new release is a continuation of a popular supernatural-comedy franchise from the 1980s.) Today, we’re using Ghostbusters: Afterlife to showcase how social campaigns and social media measurement can help movies drum up excitement, gauge viewer reactions, and use available data right up to the release date and beyond.

Laying the Groundwork for Social Campaign Analysis

We first want to understand where viewers typically talk about Ghostbusters: Afterlife. A quick look at the dashboard revealed that YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, forums, and the general press are top generators of related content.


Furthermore, identifying top news sites also gives hints as to where the team can place digital ads. It’s likely that these readers are either Ghostbusters fans or have related interests. 


Making Sense of Reaction Videos and Viewer Conversations

Our platform analysis above shows us that YouTube content around the movie is very popular. Reaction videos may be part of the reason. Creators of these videos film their responses to (typically) another video, such as movie trailers, live performances, music videos – the list goes on. For massive releases, like Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the reaction videos are endless. For example, our platform detected a particularly popular one from AngryJoeShow, a channel with over 3 million subscribers.


However, watching reaction videos to understand viewer opinions is a clear waste of time. Let’s explore how social intelligence surfaces vital points in just several minutes.

Understanding Your Audience’s Language and Opinions

The context network map of the conversations around Ghostbusters: Afterlife already highlights some prominent audience opinions.


First, notice the appearance of the terms “1984”  and “2016″. Fans of the franchise will understand that these years are far from arbitrary. The original Ghostbusters movie came out in 1984, and the most recent Ghostbusters movie came out in 2016. Comparisons to the original 1984 version and the newer 2016 version will be top-of-mind for many fans. The need for the movie to bring something new to the table, while remaining faithful to the original, is a delicate balance for the team.

Next, the context network map also reveals that “stranger” and “things” were both top words, about the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. Clicking into the keyword “stranger” revealed the most popular content. Some viewers felt very strongly that Ghostbusters: Afterlife was too similar to Stranger Things, both of which feature actor Finn Wolfhard and an overall plotline of preteens fighting against supernatural forces.

However, other viewers disagree.

We wanted to understand where people are talking about Ghostbuster: Afterlife with Stranger Things. Most of these conversations took place on social networks, followed by forums and news outlets.


These conversations reveal the challenge of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife team to make sure the messaging and branding of promotional material is as differentiated as possible from Stranger Things. 

Leveraging Star Power in Social Campaigns

A marked highlight of Ghostbusters’ campaign is the high level of attention given to its lead actors and directors. In the top 50 words about Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Paul Rudd, director Jason Reitman, Finn Wolfhard are some of the top terms. The names of actors Bill Murray, Carrie Coon, and Mckenna Grace (not pictured) were also in the top 50 keywords. 


One top post related to Finn Wolfhard highlighted the level of his fan devotion.

The prevalence with which audiences mention these actors underscore their popularity, as well as audience anticipation toward the final release. To leverage the influence of these stars, the Ghostbusters team should consider creating interviews, fun Instagram videos, or other promotional content with their star-studded cast.

Additional Successes of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife Social Campaigns

Another success to be celebrated is that Ghostbusters’ decades-old franchise tagline has remained a hit with modern audiences. The widely-used #whoyougonnacall hashtag is the modern take on its famous “Who ya gonna call?” tagline.


Ensuring Ongoing Success Before, During, and After Release

The interactivity of the Internet allows the everyday consumer to engage with and provide honest, immediate feedback to media and entertainment. This data is especially useful for entertainment teams for current and future campaigns. Although many companies attempt to tap into this area, just as many stumble upon endlessly increasing amounts of data and irrelevant information. Social intelligence is the key to making sense of the millions of online conversations and content. To learn more about how social campaigns can make all the difference for a new launch or upcoming release, read our latest case study on the cosmetics industry.