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What Friends: The Reunion can teach finance content marketers

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The one with blockbuster content

Truly compelling content ideas are hard to come by. So, if you’ve landed on one, it shouldn’t be squandered on a single blog, post or image. 

By transforming that idea into a blockbuster content campaign, you can send it to all four corners of the Internet—and snag thousands of new followers in the process. 

Here, we step outside of the financial content marketing world for a minute, to study a 2021 blockbuster campaign which has earned tens of millions of hits: The Friends: Reunion

Executed across multiple channels and in multiple formats, the techniques applied in this campaign could work for nearly any finance content marketing idea—whether you’re launching a new appgetting creative with your annual reports or simply planning to content for an always-on content strategy. 

Blockbuster finance content on YouTube

HBO Max, the US streaming service which aired Friends: The Reunion on May 27 (and is also home to all 236 original episodes), hooked viewers with stacks of video content leading up to, during and following the launch

This content ranged from the official trailer (which has had more than 19 million hits) to a pre-show digital red carpet (which featured guest stars and games) to clever plays on the much-used yet ever-effective listicle

See, for example, ‘Monica’s nine tips for cleaning‘, comprised of snippets from the original series, accompanied by subheadings. 

Social media

The Friends: The Reunion content campaign used social media in almost every way imaginable. This began with the seeding of possibilities way back in September 2019, when four members of the Friends cast shared the same photo accompanied by the same cryptic message on Instagram: ‘Celebrating a Thursday night 25 years ago …’

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Since then, the campaign has featured flashbacks featuring classic moments of the series; giveaways and competitions; a 360-degree Central Perk background available in Messenger, enabling fans to immerse themselves in the world of Friends; a stack of merch (including Matthew Perry’s own collection); reveals of celebrity guests to appear on the show; and more.

One of the most powerful impacts of this multifaceted use of social media is that it’s inspired numerous brands and influencers to make related content, thereby maximising organic growth. 

quote]One of the most powerful impacts of this multifaceted use of social media is it’s inspired numerous brands and influencers to make related content, maximising organic growth.[/quote] 

See, for example, Cadbury’s ad for its new Silk chocolate, and this collection of Friends-inspired merch created (and shared) by various brands. What’s more, two days before Friends: The Reunion aired, the show was mentioned more than 42,000 times on Twitter.

Traditional media

In addition to focusing on new media, Friends: The Reunion campaign also maximised the potential of traditional media.

In the lead-up to launch, cast members discussed the show with Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, People and many other big titles. Plus, numerous media outlets have run Friends-inspired articles (beyond the usual interviews and reviews), from this opinion piece on the ABC website about why Friends still resonates, to this extensive guide on the Harper’s Bazaar website, to this moral lesson on the Guardian website.

Ready to create your own blockbuster campaign? Get in touch.

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Jasmine Crittenden
Jasmine Crittenden has written extensively for major finance brands including Westpac, BT Financial Group, Suncorp and Aberdeen Standard Investments – across both digital and print. She’s an expert in content that puts the human element in finance marketing, be it connecting with local communities, inspiring millennials to care about super or clarifying the complexities of personal loans.