Universal Pictures

Thanks to its use of creative assets on Pinterest, Universal Pictures France succeeded in making its movie LAST CHRISTMAS the must-see movie of the festive season.

Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Universal Studios is the oldest film studio in the US and the fourth oldest studio in the world. From Jurassic Park to Despicable Me, Universal has been the force behind countless movie successes that continue to bring generations together to this day. This time round, the movie production giant called on Pinterest to enhance awareness of its new movie and to encourage people to go view it in theaters. Last Christmas is a romantic comedy not lacking in spice. It features Game of Thrones’ breakout star Emilia Clarke, as well as Henry Golding in the lead male role. By firmly setting its campaign within the key context of Christmas, Universal Pictures France has reinvented pull marketing, just like its movie has breathed new life into romantic-comedy tropes.

in awareness of the movie
in those intending to view it in theaters
Their goal

Increasing awareness and encouraging target audiences to go see the movie in theaters

When it came to releasing their Christmas rom-com, what Universal Pictures France wanted more than anything was to find the right media partner—a partner that would allow them to not only enhance awareness of the movie and encourage target audiences to go view it in the theaters, but also one that would allow them to really showcase the Christmas atmosphere that pervades the movie. Very aware of just how important Christmas is for consumers, Universal Pictures France wanted to present this movie in a relevant, highly contextualized way.

Lorelei Schirar
Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Universal Pictures International France
“Our strategy for launching Last Christmas was to target female affinity groups. As the ideal platform for browsing Christmas trends, we felt that Pinterest was the perfect way to position our message in a content-rich environment. We adapted our creative assets specifically for the campaign, which delivered great results for us, not least +27% in awareness. Thanks to a brand lift study carried out by our agency KR Wavemaker and the Pinterest team, we were able to finetune our understanding of the platform for this initial campaign. An enriching and rewarding experience!”
Their solution

Encouraging target audiences to discover the movie using contextualized trailers

Pinterest sees more than 22 million searches on topics relating to Christmas preparations and accompanying festivities, a figure that was certainly of interest to the advertiser when it came to building out its campaign. 

Working closely with Pinterest, the movie production company chose the key period of Christmas as the perfect time to place its romantic comedy firmly in the spotlight. By adapting trailers to Pinners’ expectations, Universal Pictures France succeeded in transforming the movie into a rich source of inspiration, while also spreading word about the movie itself. Pinners were able to get ideas for festive decorations and activities to help make their Christmas celebrations a magical experience. This innovative approach paid off well for the production company.

Their results

Last Christmas ranked among the best brand lift studies carried out in Europe

By teaming up with Pinterest, Universal Pictures France created a strong, high-impact marketing strategy that was centered not just on its movie but also on the holiday season. By implementing a brand lift study that accurately evaluated and highlighted the impact of the Pinterest campaign within the media mix, the studio was able to really assess the results of the campaign. They discovered that Pinterest allowed an incremental growth in awareness of the movie over the four weeks of the campaign. This impact continued even after the launch of other communication initiatives and the release of the movie itself.

As a result, the Pinterest campaign for Last Christmas ranked among the best brand lift studies carried in Europe in recent years, and had a significant impact on the target group’s awareness of the movie and on their intention to go see it in theaters. Awareness of the movie jumped by 27% from the beginning of the campaign while intent to view it in theaters jumped by 21%.

The very high completion rate for Pinterest’s video ads—10.5% higher than that of other platforms—also confirms the effectiveness of this contextual advertising strategy.


Advertiser tips
  • Tailor your campaigns to the seasons and key periods of the year. Christmas is certainly a very important time on Pinterest, but there are many others, like Easter, St. Valentine’s Day, and Mardi Gras. Targeting your campaign to key dates like these allows you to convey your message within a more tailored context, and to engage with your target audience on the platform in a more effective way.
  • Timing is an important consideration here too, because on Pinterest, it’s quite specific. Pinners come to search for inspiration for their projects several months in advance. So knowing how to connect with them well in advance of the date in question is important. For example, Christmas-related searches start appearing on the platform from the end of September.
  • It’s time for a different approach. Your ads need to appear to users at just the right moment, so your message really resonates with your target audience and engages their interest. By tailoring your creative assets to users’ expectations and by choosing your target period well, you’ll inspire your audience without disrupting their searches, while also guaranteeing the success of your campaign.