Crafting a Strategic Approach to Programmatic DOOH: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Disney’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes not only crushed the box office, it left a remarkable impression on the digital out-of-home and omnichannel marketing landscape. We’re breaking down the unique approach to the film’s successful advertising campaign.

In 2022, photos leaked of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling dressed in bright neon rollerblades and coordinating costumes while shooting scenes for Barbie. In April 2024, a video of apes seen horseback riding on Venice Beach went viral in anticipation of 20th Century Studio and Disney’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. The clip, with over 3.2 million views on TikTok, created a frenzy online as fans shared their excitement. This is just one example of how Disney took guerilla marketing to the next level (no pun intended).

Entertainment and film studios think out of the box - and out of home - when crafting their marketing strategies. Aside from conventional press tours and social media takeovers, film studios are investing more in experiential marketing, traditional out-of-home, and digital out-of-home to reach consumers in the moments that matter most. From digital billboards to place-based advertising, we’re breaking down Disney’s strategic omnichannel approach to one of this year’s highly anticipated films.

Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

A Box Office Recipe for Success

Disney and 20th Century’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has conquered the box office surpassing $237 million globally within its second week of release. The film is the fourth installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot franchise and the tenth film overall. 

Marketing for the movie began in November of 2023 with the release of the teaser trailer followed by the second trailer premiering during the Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024. The viral stunt of actors wearing realistic ape costumes hit Venice Beach in April and made an appearance in the New York Metropolitan area as well.

Aside from the typical press tours associated with big box films, Disney’s advertising strategy spanned the entire omnichannel marketing mix from social media to TV and DOOH. No surface (or screen) was left untouched. When it comes to national television advertising alone, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes spent $21.1 million on 2,820 airings with 1.8 billion impressions, according to EDO Ad EnGage.  

The film continues to perform well at the box office. It’s currently the fourth movie to cross over the $200 million milestone so far in 2024—in just less than two weeks of opening.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes advertisement featured on Screenverse Office

Disney’s Approach to Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home Advertising 

You’ve probably come across an advertisement in the weeks leading up to the film’s release date on May 10th. Whether it be on a billboard by the highway or a video clip on a digital screen, Disney's approach to programmatic DOOH is a clear example of a major player seizing the opportunity to reach consumers at key moments in the places they frequent the most.

Screenverse is proud to share that three of our partner networks were included in Disney’s pDOOH advertising campaign—TouchTunes, Apparatix Billboards, and Screenverse Office. Venue types included restaurants and bars, residential and commercial office buildings, and digital billboards.

What Makes Disney’s Approach So Unique?

Screenverse Co-Founder and CEO David Weinfeld shares his perspective on Disney’s strategy. “Summer movie blockbuster promotions and streaming content announcements have long used OOH as a media channel to raise awareness. The use of OOH, however, has been largely isolated to major metropolitan markets, billboards, and spectacular inventory. It's a solid strategy that delivers amazing images and mind share in places like Time Square. But, it's far from the only way that OOH can be used to drive audiences to new movies and streaming content launches. That's why it's so powerful to see a movie studio like Disney leverage programmatic DOOH in such a differentiated and audience-driven way.

Targeting audiences in bars and restaurants outside of the top 50 DMAs, is an ideal use case for programmatic DOOH and the diverse benefits it provides. It allows Disney to reach potential moviegoers in moments that matter outside of the home, and drive unique reach in specialized markets. It is a true digital strategy brought to life in the real world. That's what I am so excited to see more of as programmatic DOOH grows, and advertisers like Disney leverage the full opportunities of our channel.”

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes advertisement featured on TouchTunes, a Screenverse partner

How Does Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home Work? 

As an evolution of DOOH, programmatic DOOH leverages data, automation, and real-time bidding to deliver highly targeted and personalized advertising content. Therefore, instead of negotiating advertising placements with media owners directly, advertisers can reach millions of screens at scale with just a few clicks.

According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), Disney was the third-highest OOH advertising spender for Q1 of 2024 and is one of sixteen advertisers who increased their quarterly OOH spend by over $2 million (compared to Q1 2023).

We’re pleased to see a major player in the film and entertainment industry such as Disney take advantage of the programmatic capabilities within the DOOH landscape and continue to invest more dollars into OOH.

Getting Started With Digital Out-of-Home Advertising 

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes advertisement featured on Mashburn Outdoor billboard, a Screenverse & Apparatix partner

While we don’t have to worry about apes taking over the world, programmatic digital out-of-home is steadily rising and not stopping. With over 90,000 digital screens across all 210 U.S. DMAs, Screenverse is here to help you make the most out of your campaign. Learn more about our venue types and contact us today to get started.


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