20th Century Fox is Making the Most of Google’s Tools

The robots aren’t coming for your jobs, but they’re here to let you think more and work less, according to President, Chief Data Scientist & Head of Media at 20th Century Fox Film Julie Rieger, who sat down with Google’s Vice President of Agency & Media Solutions Tara Levy to talk about how they use Google’s tools to make their marketing efforts effective in today’s age.

Soon after Rieger arrived at 20th Century Fox, the 83-year-old company had to reinvent itself to keep up with the digital era of entertainment, and they’re using tools from Google to do it. But they aren’t the only ones using those tools to help merge the art and science of marketing.

By analyzing YouTube statistics of users, Covergirl was able to uncover the simply deceptive truth that if someone is interested in beauty, it’s likely that they also have an interest in areas like fashion, fitness or health foods, according to Levy, who said the company was frequently able to utilize these insights to obtain twice the return on ad spend.

Caesars Palace in Las Vegas utilized similar tools to enable easy customization of their messaging into 150 different versions based on passion points of their target audience. This helped them increase their brand favorability by 15%, and achieve 200% increased search lift, according to Levy, who preached the practical use of YouTube as a marketing tool.

“YouTube gives a lens into what’s happening in culture right now,” Levy said.

This is critical for 20th Century Fox, who are always looking to get down to the “why?” when it comes to their customers, according to Rieger, who said the customers whose emotion was the foundation of their purchasing decisions drove their overall vision for the data undertaking the company was starting. They didn’t know enough about their customers and they wanted that to change.

It’s hard for 20th Century Fox to obtain information on their customers because they often don’t even know who their customers are. Only 15% of movie tickets are purchased online, according to Rieger, who reiterated the difficulty of tracking customers that pay in person.

“Over 50% of our business is cash,” Rieger said, “Cash is invisibility.”

But Rieger is confident that Google is going to help her team change that. Using a new feature Google is rolling out on YouTube called “video extensions”, brands will be able to integrate direct response actions on the same page as videos. For the release of their upcoming movie “The Predator”, 20th Century Fox will allow viewers to see show times or purchase tickets for the movie directly from the ad or trailer.

This new tool, among others like Google Analytics, is letting 20th Century Fox gain valuable insights like what date to release a movie, what movies might be potential competitors and what audience to speak to directly with marketing messages. It’s all in the numbers.

Those numbers are connected to people just as strongly as the words they say, according to Rieger, who says the hard part is figuring out how to turn them into insights about human emotion. But through the help of both data scientists and Ph.D. Psychologists, 20th Century Fox has been able to think about their own movies in different ways.

“We now have categories like ‘underdog movie’, ‘what a mother would do for her child’ and ‘retro sci-fi’,” Rieger said.

Combining numbers, words and feelings, Rieger and the team at 20th Century Fox are using Google’s tools to bring a 20th century brand into the 21st century.

Jared Neumann

Jared Neumann

Writer at Advertising Week
Jared is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying strategic communications with a certificate in digital studies in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is pursuing a career in advertising with the ultimate goal being to work at a reputable agency where he is able to help create innovative and impactful work.
Jared Neumann
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