Case Study: 2018 Denver Comic Con
August 23, 2018
By Sarah Chapin

You may remember this blog from a few months ago announcing the opening of Denver Comic Con. Well, we are happy to report it was a success!!  Given what a fun project it was to work on, and the fact that it yielded some strong results, we wanted to share the following case study.

Pop Culture Classroom brought on Explore as their media agency in 2017 to help promote the 2018 Denver Comic Con (DCC). DCC had a very modest budget for what they wanted to achieve, but Explore excelled at leveraging our agency relationships to negotiate heavily discounted space and added value to make the most of every penny.

One of the main obstacles that DCC faced was that many people in the Denver market don’t realize how versatile the event is and that there is more to it than just comics (there are actors, authors, mission support, kid’s lab, etc.). Explore’s approach was to introduce DCC to new target segments in order to expand ticket sales. Explore took a full funnel approach – introduce new people to DCC, educate them on the benefits of attending the event and then push them through the sales funnel to convert (buy a ticket).

Since DCC has done limited branding in the past, Explore recommended using visual mass media to stand out in the market and attract attention.  Explore placed high profile billboards and wallscapes throughout key areas of Denver to showcase a large format, visual message for DCC and help build brand credibility.  Ads in movie theaters ran in key areas throughout Denver to target families and teens.

Radio was another pillar of mass media that was layered on during key purchase time frames that allowed DCC to provide more detail about the event and extend a timely call to action message.  To complement the radio and reach the younger target, DCC ran audio ads on Pandora.

To balance the mass reach of radio and billboards, programmatic banners and pre-roll video hyper-targeted the target audiences.   Hundreds of data points were layered on to hone in on specific individuals and algorithms constantly optimized to the best performing models.  We placed pixels on the DCC website to monitor post-impression and post-click activity and measure lift.  From website insights, we were also able to build look-a-likes to extend reach by finding other people similar to those who purchased tickets.  Ads also ran on Facebook and Instagram and were served to custom audiences. The campaign was continually optimized to the audiences that had the strongest engagement.

Overall, the campaign was incredibly successful and achieved over 15.5 million impressions in the Denver market. Explore was also able to negotiate just over $55K in bonus media to make the campaign even stronger.

The digital campaign converted users from the DCC website to the ticket sales landing page at a 20.11% rate!  This is well over standard benchmark.   Upon meeting with the client, they shared that they had anticipated sales being down from last year, but were very excited that 2018 sales remained consistent with ticket goals from 2017 – a big success!

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