The Wonder Woman film swept the box office, accruing roughly $710M in revenue to date, quickly becoming the highest-grossing film with a female director and female lead.
To understand Wonder Woman as a social phenomenon, Preen.Me’s Business Intelligence Team looked at 1.94M user generated Instagram posts, from the beginning of 2016 through mid-June 2017, posted by 696,503 Wonder Woman fans, resulting in 639.3M social actions (likes and comments). We observed that every 1 contributing user created an average of 2.79 posts, resulting in an average of 329.02 and median of 35social actions per posts.
- The current success of this incarnation of Wonder Woman did not happen overnight; since 2016, the social conversation about Wonder Woman has been steadily growing, reaching its climax with the film’s release in June, with a 146.22%increase in posts compared to the month of May.
- There is a strong relationship between key marketing efforts around the movie and the corresponding social conversation.
- The ‘true believer’ comic fans were an instrumental base in the Instagram conversation, giving celebrity account contributions a run for their money; the top ten celebrity accounts were responsible for 0.38% of the social actions, while the top ten “super geek” accounts brought in 16% of the social actions.
- Gal Gadot, the lead actor, was strongly identified in the social conversation, with 12.80% of social posts about the film specifically mentioning her. Additionally, Wonder Woman related posts by Gal Gadot were 3.4 times more impactful than those by the film’s official account and the official Warner Brothers’ account.
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Wonder Woman’s Hero’s Journey on Instagram
The social conversation, as expressed by the number of Instagram posts and intensity of conversation related to Wonder Woman, saw a huge jump following the movie’s June release. However, this was not an overnight success; this increase was built on an existing social discussion that has been developing since the start 2016.
Warm-Up to Home Run
As the Preen.Me Social Velocity Index™ (PSVI) below shows, certain key marketing events greatly contributed to the intensity of the conversation around Wonder Woman. PSVI measures the velocity of social conversation (the concentration of posts and engagements) on a daily basis; spikes indicate the intensity of posts, likes, and comments as it relates to time.
Key Milestones in the Wonder Woman Marketing Campaign
Film Release as a Social Catalyst
Unsurprisingly, a big social spike occurred after the movie’s release, with 2.5 times more users posting in June than in May. Interestingly, posting after the film’s release was led by small fan accounts, rather than large influencer accounts. It is for this reason that total engagements only increased by 9.61%.
What a Difference a Month Makes! May 2017 vs. June 2017
In the month-to-month comparison of May to June, the Wonder Woman film triggered an increase in users posting and social engagements, causing a 146.22% increase in participating users and a 76.29% increase in posts.
May vs. June Comparison of Participating Instagram Accounts by Follower Size
In the graph below, the horizontal axis represents groupings of Instagram accounts by the size of their followings, and the vertical axis is the number of such accounts posting about Wonder Woman.
The graph depicts that the growth in participating users was led by regular fan accounts— not large influencer accounts. As such, the dramatic increase in posts resulted in a more modest 9.61% increase in social actions.
The Buildup: Q1 2016 to Q2 2017
Contributing Users over Time
Social Posts over Time
Likes and Comments over Time
Gal Gadot is #WonderGal
Now lets take a look at the three “official” and influential brand accounts for the Wonder Woman film: Gal Gadot’s account (@gal_gadot), the Wonder Woman Film account (@wonderwomanfilm), and the Warner Brother Pictures account (@wbpictures). While the rest of the report focuses primarily on the user-generated social conversation and excludes these three accounts, below is an in depth look at their contributions.
Gal Gadot’s Instagram account was 3.4 times more impactful in terms of social engagements it created about Wonder Woman than those by the film’s official account and the official Warner Brothers’ account.
Social Actions for Wonder Woman Posts by the Official Film Accounts
The bubble chart below portrays the Wonder Woman posts by each account, where the vertical axis is the number of posts, the horizontal axis is the number of followers, and the size of the bubbles is the total number of social actions.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman related posts accounted for 77% of the total social actions brought in by the three key brand accounts.
But Gal’s impact doesn’t end there. User posts mentioning Gal Gadot made up 12.80%of total posts, showing immense support by fans.
Battle Royale: Celebrities vs. Super Geeks
The Wonder Woman social conversation was reinforced by two distinctly different groups of social influencers; on one side of the ring were the “traditional” celebrity accounts, and, punching above the weight class, were the “super geek” accounts, made up of passionate comic book and superhero fans.
While the top ten most influential celebrities brought in 0.38% of the social actions, the accumulated social impact of the “Super Geek” accounts surpassed that of the celebrities, making up approximately 16% of total social actions.
Top Ten Celebrity and “Super Geek” Accounts Posting About Wonder Woman
The bubble charts portray the Wonder Woman posts by each account, where the vertical axis is the number of social actions, the horizontal axis is the number of followers, and the size of the bubbles are the total number of posts.
Top Ten Celebrity Accounts Posting About Wonder Woman
Top Ten “Super Geek” Accounts Posting About Wonder Woman
Fan Art: Love Letters on Social
Keeping with the comic book origins of the Wonder Woman film, fan art posts are a significant theme in the user generated images, making up 6.93% of total Wonder Woman Instagram posts.
Like many blockbuster franchises in the making, Wonder Woman also launched a number of brand collaborations, aiming to capitalize on the release of the Wonder Woman film. Of these, the most prominent on Instagram were those related to beauty products: Benefit Cosmetics, Walgreens, and Luxie Beauty.
The following bubble chart portrays the different Wonder Woman co-branding campaigns, where the vertical axis is the number of users posting about the campaign, the horizontal axis is the number of posts about the campaign, and the size of the bubbles is the total number of social actions.
What a Wonder(ful) World
Posts from the United States made up the largest percentage of total social actions (54%). The United States also led in box office performance, making up 55% of total gross revenue.
Total Instagram Users by Country vs. Total Gross by Country
Wonder Woman Instagram Posts by Location, Q1 2016 to Q2 2017
A Look at Comic-Cons
Many superhero films leverage the major fanbase of the ‘congregations of the true believers’ at the various Comic-Cons. As such, the San Diego Comic-Con in 2016 was chosen as the location for the release of a surprise Wonder Woman film trailer. This tactic saw clear results on Instagram, with 1.23% of total Wonder Woman posts in 2016 tagged to that specific event— a very large social presence for a single location on a single day.
The chart below depicts the change from 2016 to 2017 for Instagram posts about each of the top Comic-Con locations. For all but the San Diego Comic-Con, the number of posts increased in 2017. Yet for San Diego Comic-Con, posts in 2016 far outnumbered those in 2017, as the surprise trailer was released at that Comic-Con that year.
Comic-Con Tagged Location Instagram Posts 2016 and 2017
The Power of Wonder-Fans
As our Wonder Woman analysis depicts, the social conversation on Instagram both reflects and amplifies the excitement around the Wonder Woman film. While it is true that this social conversation was impacted by the marketing efforts of the film’s creators, it also clearly reflects the authentic connection fans had with the film and what it represents. The Wonder Woman experience showcases the importance for marketers to enlist the help of core audiences to seed and support their brand, and, as always, there’s a great benefit to getting your ‘true believers’ to tell your story.
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