To launch ‘Gotham,’ Fox put the Bat-Signal on autoplay

When the star of your new television show is Batman himself, you’d expect a certain amount of built-in buzz. But sometimes even Bruce Wayne needs help from the marketing team.


In July, Fox wanted to ensure its Batman origins series, Gotham, got its share of chatter among superhero fans, media critics and the world at large. To create excitement, they planned to debut the series’ first episode during San Diego’s Comic-Con, the marketing juggernaut where studios promote their upcoming releases to fan-boy bloggers, the entertainment press and the world at large.

For Fox’s partner, Time Inc., the objective was to provide high-quality video experience across screens, not the least being on mobile. Although the publisher had seen mobile viewership on key sites like and tick upwards from 39 to 53 million in the previous six months, it’s never easy to capture consumer attention. So when Time Inc. got that attention, it wasn’t going to let go.

Auto-play was the key to making sure audiences got at least a taste of the program. But auto-play isn’t supported by native iOS players (and iPhones are a favorite among the geek set). Additionally, Time Inc. wanted to know for certain that those plays were in view.

To tackle these challenges, Time Inc. and Fox turned to Celtra’s AdCreator 4, a cross-screen platform that streamlines the creation, serving and tracking of immersive HTML5 display ads. Using the tool, the partners created a web-based push that promoted Gotham across desktops, smartphones and tablets. The video trailer played instantaneously in-banner, ensuring interested viewers were hooked without having to open a new window, suffer longer load times or move off the Time Inc. page.

Moreover, the in-ad players allowed the partners to feature calls to action within the banners themselves.

“The campaign performed very strongly,” said Derek Gatts, associate director of ad operations at Time Inc., New York. AdCreator’s custom video player allowed Time Inc. and FOX to auto-play the series’ trailer straight from the banner on every device, including the iOS-powered devices.

The inline auto-play also bolstered viewability, Gatts said. “Celtra was able to control the start of video until the ad was almost in view. Viewability is very important to us, and all our benchmarks are above industry averages.”

In just three days, the campaign generated more 7.5 million requested impressions on Time Inc.’s properties, People and Entertainment Weekly (EW). Out of all measurable impressions, 74.5 percent (nearly 4.5 million) were viewable, according to Core viewabilty ratings. Just over half of the impressions were served on desktop (54 percent), while smartphones and tablets accounted for 26 and 20 percent, respectively.

For more campaign results, watch the video below or request access to read the full case study.

[vimeo 114675835 w=500 h=282]

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