Following two incredibly successful, and bone-crunching cinema outings, hard-as-nails ex-Special Forces operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) was back to show off his “particular set of skills” in Taken 3. Cue an unrelenting sequence of punch‑em‑ups, shoot-outs, eyebrow‑searing explosions and outlandish car chases.
Yet, no matter how indestructible Neeson’s character may seem onscreen, there is always one inescapable danger every returning action hero must face. Namely, ‘Franchise Fatigue’.
It’s no secret that cinema audiences are increasingly cynical when it comes to film franchises. EuropaCorp was acutely aware of this and knew that their biggest challenge with Taken 3 was keeping audiences from dismissing a brilliant action‑packed film before it was even released.
There is always one inescapable danger
every returning action hero
must face. Namely, ‘Franchise Fatigue’
In the same way Taken’s success relies on a fast‑paced and relentless narrative, we too had to create a staggered and quick‑changing content plan to counteract the audience’s existing cynicism. This plan was divided into four stages, with each stage ramping up user engagement along the way. This was so we could keep the audience intrigued and entertained right up until the day of release.
Our first port of call was to break the news of the film’s release to the existing fanbase on Facebook and Twitter. A ‘tease’ was always a good place to begin and we did just that by recreating emotive versions of the official film poster. It was important that each version identified and dramatised a key theme of the upcoming film.
Once our social media audience had its first taste of the exciting news, we changed the angle of our message. We now had to remind fans why they loved Taken 1 and Taken 2 in the first place i.e. it’s so violent, it’s funny.
Following the launch of the film’s official microsite, our next tranche of Facebook and Twitter content was designed to ramp up the audience’s own active involvement. In other words, discover more about the film for themselves e.g. cast information, behind-the-scenes photos and trailers.
A week before the film’s release, our campaign came to a climax with an open invitation for the audience to fully immerse themselves in the action-packed plot.
Through promoted Facebook and Twitter content, fans were invited to join a massive 7-day manhunt for Bryan Mills on Snapchat. By taking part, they could also win tickets to the red carpet premiere.
Using Snapchat’s ‘Stories’ feature, we pushed out a series of visual clues of Bryan Mills’ whereabouts (the location would change on a daily basis). These included a mixture of cryptic CCTV footage, surveillance photos and local police reports.
Fans could participate in the game by responding directly through Snapchat’s ‘Chat’ feature and identifying Bryan Mills’ location.
By the time Taken 3 was released, our content had already achieved massive engagement figures (as seen above). It was also EuropaCorp’s first foray into the world of Snapchat, and it was deemed a huge success.
In terms of its box office performance, Taken 3 spent an entire month in the Top Ten. Now that’s what you call bullet‑proof!