Elevation Pictures teams with Twitter to promote The Hip

A new doc on The Tragically Hip was the first movie to deliver a Twitter-exclusive trailer.
The Hip

For the first time in Canada, a movie trailer has debuted exclusively on Twitter.

Elevation Pictures’ upcoming music documentary, Long Time Running, which follows the Tragically Hip during their 2016 cross-Canada tour (including its record-breaking TV and digital broadcast of the band’s final stop), debuted the trailer on the social media platform June 30, giving Twitter Canada the exclusive distribution rights for a 24-hour window.

The partnership came through Dentsu Aegis-owned digital agency Vizeum. The agency took the opportunity to create buzz for another one of its clients, Twitter Canada, at the same time as it created buzz for the film. Twitter Canada posted the first glimpse at the trailer on June 30 via a pinned Tweet on its official account.

Since the window ended, the trailer has also extended to platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

Over the weekend, the trailer saw more than 500,000 views on Twitter alone, while the initial tweet of the trailer received 97 retweets, 122 likes and four replies. Laura Pearce, head of consumer marketing with Twitter, said the engagement rate was four times the industry average.

The partnership also saw Twitter Canada take over the 97 by 60 foot digital billboard owned by Clear Channel at the northwest corner of Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, which Pearce said was a first time the billboard has been used for a non-Samsung brand. Throughout the day on Canada Day,  Twitter alternated between broadcasting the trailer and select tweets about the doc, as well as Twitter Canada’s “Canada 150 is Happening” video and live tweets from “#Canada150.” Live Tweets on both topics were curated with DIVE. (The trailer release also happened to be timed close to Canada Day because of the Hip’s strong association with Canadiana, said Pearce.)

The digital billboard is also currently the largest of its kind in Canada, measuring a total of 5,820 square feet.

“We knew this was going to be big on social,” Adrian Capobianco, president of Vizeum, told MiC. Vizeum has previously promoted films through tailored social media strategies, such as its extensive Snapchat campaign for the teen drama Before I Fall (also from Elevation), but Capobianco said Twitter was ideal for this particular film because the platform is known for driving conversation.

The media impact of the Hip’s farewell tour has been felt on both traditional and digital media — the final concert saw an average audience of 4.3 million viewers, while nearly 500,000 Tweets were sent during the broadcast and 1.8 million Canadians watched clips of the band on YouTube the day of their final performance.

The film will have a short theatrical run on an as-yet-to-be-announced date in September before it premieres on CTV.