• Ben Johnson

Combining paid advertising and influencer marketing for movies. Case Study: Kidnapning (Part 1)

Updated: Jan 20

Earlier this year we had the pleasure of collaborating with producer Regner Grasten on the campaign for the Danish family movie Kidnapning. This was a challenging campaign, with a complex set up and a lot of moving parts. The results however more than matched the effort of not only running paid movie advertising on a variety of channels, but also tieing the promotion in with an influencer marketing campaign.

The challenge

Kidnapning follows four siblings from a poor background, who along with their crazy uncle decide to kidnap the son of a wealthy bank owner to collect a ransom. The movie was primarily geared towards 5-12 year olds. But the content was actually mostly familiar to their parents, the movie being based on a 1975 book most Danish parents read in school.

The book that Kidnapning is based on

The first challenge was finding common ground between the parents and the kids, at a time when kids in opposite parts of the world have more in common with each other then they have with their own parents.

Online audiences in general, and our target audience in particular, have very short attention spans. We needed to test and come up with the right approach in terms of platforms and type of content. We also had to be careful to not alienate this audience which is quick to turn on material they deem “branded” or too commercial.

Last, but not least, we needed a solution to get content in front of such a young audience in the first place. Most platforms don’t allow targeting paid advertising to users younger than 18.


We set out to analyse the online behaviour and communication pattern of our core audience.

A key finding was that a large proportion of children see social media as a platform to fame. They aspire to be like their favorite vlogger, musician or Instagram star and are likely to build an online persona, always waiting to get the next “Like” or follower.

This lead us to conclude that the campaign should include some form of online competition that will make the target audience engage with the content.

The content itself had to be adapted to each platform and we agreed with the producer that we could not just rely on typical teasers, trailers and movie excerpts. We decided to work together to create a concept for original content.

To bypass both paid movie advertising targeting restrictions and the audience’s resistance to commercial messages, we proposed an influencer marketing campaign. The producer was receptive to trying this approach and when another promotional plan fell through, he was open to re-allocating the budget.

Despite focusing primarily on this young audience, we could not overlook the parents. They were likely to have an interest by virtue of their personal connection with the story and were also the ones with purchasing power.

Landing page for the campaign created by Gruvi

The solutions we implemented for this campaign included the creation of no less than 25 pieces of original video content, a competition ran on musical.ly as well as an endorsement by one of Denmark’s most popular youtubers. More on that, as well as the final results of the campaign, in parts 2 and 3:

‘Seeing the light’- a Video Interview with Producer Regner Grasten. Movie Marketing Case Study: Kidnapning (Part 2)

Combining paid advertising and influencer marketing for movies. Case Study: Kidnapning (Part 3)

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