The pitch turned out to be the strongest sell: Winchester was based on an incredible true story of an American heiress in a manic lifelong quest to bring peace to thousands of ghosts to atone for her family curse. Rather than lean exclusively into Hellen Mirren’s star power, this was our way to hook more than the genre audience.
So we produced a series of NewsNow-styled info-videos. Versions were tailored for different audiences to accent different elements – leaning into the supernatural angle for the Hispanic audience, a “protector” theme for Helen Mirren fans, and the straight “house that ghosts built” horror sell for genre fans. Videos were initially shared as dark posts to A/B test creative and copy before promoting posts to tease the trailer.
The true story strategy paid off with a nearly $10M opening the first week of February, well over analyst predictions for Super Bowl weekend.
NewsNow: Winchester House
A range of visual styles and copy approaches were explored and tested to assess the greatest impact for different audience segments. We struck a balance between a fact-based report and the creepy SFX and VFX of a horror piece.
Enter The Labyrinthe
We took a fresh approach to traditional countdown pieces by leaning on them to showcase the maze-like nature of the house itself. These architectural oddities in a mansion “designed by ghosts” added another layer to the mystery.
Creepy GIFs captured the classic horror energy with a mix of darkly intriguing and disturbing visuals, drawing in genre fans.