CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF APES DOMINATION
Partnering with Planet of the Apes for its 50 year anniversary, Armed Mind helped invigorate a fanbase through a digital celebration of five decades of one of world's hairiest – and most preeminent – science fiction franchises.
Condensing five decades of trailblazing storytelling into one cohesive campaign took a highly intelligent group of primates! But first, it took some prioritization:
- 1) First, we had to strategize engagement tactics for a hugely diverse fanbase with different reasons for loving the franchise
- 2) Next, we had to catalogue half a century of film, photos, behind the scenes interviews, and thousands more hours of content
- 3) Then, we had to craft a month-by-month annual website and social content plan that would revisit all fifty years of Apes history
- 4) Together, it all had to spark renewed passion in the franchise in a year without a new theatrical Apes release
Our team attacked these challenges through a meticulous curation that transported fans through the annals of Apes history by way of social initiatives and editorial content hosted on a special new anniversary website. Week after week, beats of exclusive content and direct fan engagements re-energized the nascent franchise’s massive fanbase — proving once again that no one can ever really stop the Apes.
Client Fox Home Entertainment
Project Planet of the Apes Global Marketing Campaign
What We Did
- Franchise Brand Strategy
- Social Strategy + Ideation
- Website Content Management and Creation
- Social and Website Production
- Monthly Email Newsletter
EXCLUSIVE ANNIVERSARY CONTENT
We spearheaded PlanetoftheApes.com for the franchise's 50th anniversary celebration, creating a library of exclusive content pieces including historical features, in-depth editorial articles, franchise trivia engagements, behind-the-scenes videos, movie prop galleries, fan art galleries, creator interviews, fan sweepstakes, and promoted live events and releases. Each month, our content revolved around a theme that celebrated an aspect of the franchise, from SFX evolution, to the lore of the Apes universe.
SOCIAL MEDIA TAKEOVER
On social, our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter campaigns explored different aspects of the franchise, appealing to Apes fans online, wherever they called home. Beyond unifying the campaign under a #Apes50th tag, we deployed #CaptionThis series using film stills, BTS video and small film clips for a #ApesTake15 series, character spotlights, cast/crew birthday posts, fan art created by followers under a #PlanetoftheFanArt tag, and monthly polls asking fans their opinions on various aspects of the franchise.
EVENTS AND FOLLOWTHROUGH
At the 50th Anniversary Retrospective events at the University of Southern California, we captured photos and video of panels, screenings, exhibits, and workshops to produce sizzle reels, interviews, promotional content for social, and newsletter content for those fans worldwide who could not attend the events.
NEW CONTENT SPOTLIGHT
Our campaign integrated macro-franchise needs, such as supporting ancillary, non-film releases. These content streams included monthly promotional sweepstakes, new graphic novels and comic book series content, coverage of 50th Anniversary events at USC, and a new film-focused podcast channel.
THE APES NEWSLETTER
In addition to web and social stewardship, we produced monthly newsletters to drive fans back toward content, release and event announcements, and sweepstakes opportunities. Designed and written according to each month's content themes, the email blasts were executed via A/B testing, allowing for optimization all year long.
AN EVOLUTIONARY YEAR
The Planet of the Apes’ 50th Anniversary wasn’t just a year of celebration – it was a year of insights.
By looking back at the franchise’s own roots, our campaign gleaned learnings on different generations of fanbases. Thanks to a continued, ongoing audit of our own content campaign, we unearthed learnings across a variety of matrices: film, time period, character, subject matter, and more. This showed us which content matters to Apes fans but also how they prefer to interact with the franchise itself.
From how core fans celebrate the classics and Apes’ revolutionary impact on filmmaking, to how newer fans are drawn to the modern films’ advancements in VFX and character-driven storytelling, the year-long content campaign did as much to generate traffic and buzz as it did to galvanize franchise learning and inform future outreach and social tactics.
We learned when to deploy modern characters like Caesar and Koba versus legacy ones like Dr. Zaius and Dr. Zira; we unearthed the stories that held the most emotional connections to different fans; we learned how the films’ social and political themes didn’t just resonate in past decades, but today’s.
Maybe most of all, we learned that anniversary or not, Planet of the Apes is a timeless franchise.