CASE STUDY


HBO Max Drives 6X More Engagement With Interactive Cross-Channel Campaign
6X Higher click rate to the in-app message

Goal


Leading up to the release of the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, HBO Max wanted to engage subscribers with tailored Wizarding World content.

Strategy


They implemented a Simple Survey in-app message in order to deliver curated content recommendations based on zero-party customer data.

Results


The campaign saw a 3.36% lift in viewership of the recommended titles over control, a 3.12% lift in session starts over control, and a 6X higher click rate to the in-app message over benchmark.

HBO Max, a direct-to-consumer streaming platform in the Warner Bros. Discovery family, puts storytelling at the center stage of everything they do. With its diverse catalog of best in class quality entertainment, HBO Max is focused on finding valuable and memorable ways to engage their users. Always evolving, their customer engagement strategy includes everything from highly personalized recommendations to fun quizzes that both entertain and collect zero-party data.

When HBO Max wanted to create buzz and promote the premiere of the next installment of the Fantastic Beasts films, HBO Max developed a customized survey based on viewers’ preferences and history.

Smart Personalization in Response to Engagement

In order to drive excitement and engagement for the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premiere on HBO Max, the team wanted to activate the Wizarding World fandom. Tapping into an emotional core of being a Harry Potter fan, HBO Max developed a campaign centered on a “What’s Your Hogwarts House” survey. Fans would self-select their Hogwarts house via a Simple Survey in-app message—a meaningful and easy-to-implement zero-party data collection strategy. After a user made a selection, a personalized messaging flow would be triggered via Braze Canvas, our customer journey orchestration tool. The user would then immediately receive an email if they were both the primary profile on the account and opted into email. If they didn’t fit both of those criteria, they’d receive a push notification (if opted in).

The corresponding email or push included more information about what their house selection symbolizes, including a hero image with their name embedded onto their house crest, thanks to HBO Max’s partnership with Nifty Images. The messages included five curated titles based on their house selection, explaining why the titles were selected for them based on the traits associated with their Hogwarts house. It also offered the option to instantly add the recommended titles to their HBO Max content list and included a deep-linked spotlight page that showed a longer, more in-depth recommendation list. By using the Braze Simple Survey In-App Message, they were able to trigger the corresponding email and push in real time.

For some extra magic, the in-app survey included a “choose for me” option, after which Canvas would randomly choose which house to place them in and trigger the corresponding content.

Because the campaign was so successful, the HBO Max team plans to replicate the strategy for another fan favorite IP in the future.

“As both a Potterhead and a member of this phenomenal team, I found this campaign incredibly fulfilling. It was a fun and innovative way to get the fans engaged and keep them coming back for more. When you combine arts and science with incredible content like this, you can truly make magic happen.”


Sly Wahabzadah
CRM Operations Manager, HBO Max

HBO Max Results: Driving Clicks by Strategically Engaging Fans

By engaging fans based on their preferences, HBO Max was able to drive a 3.36% lift in viewership of the featured recommended titles within the campaign, a 3.12% lift in session starts, and a 6X higher click rate to the in-app message.

6X Higher click rate to the in-app message
3.12% Lift in session starts
3.36% Lift in viewership of the recommended titles

Key Takeaways

  1. Data-driven marketing leverages what we already know about users to help them make future decisions. Leveraging zero-party data is a powerful and engaging way to engage users.

  2. Asking easy questions in surveys drives clicks—use questions that you know your users will have an answer to with little consideration given.

  3. There’s value in creating a buzz leading up to a major launch. For HBO Max, rounding out the experience of anticipation with fun, relatable content drives engagement among its users.