Global media company STX Entertainment ran vertical video ads in Instagram Stories to promote its film Den of Thieves, which resulted in a 5.1-point lift in intent to see the film.

Entertaining the world

Founded in 2014, STX Entertainment is a movie studio built for the new economy. Its mission is to finance, develop, and produce star-driven films for worldwide audiences across traditional and digital media platforms. As a result, it has unlocked value in the connection stars have with fans.


lift in ad recall


lift in intent to see the film in theaters

4.26 million

people reached

We knew Den of Thieves already had the talent and action scenes that would appeal to the right audience, but we needed a way to capitalize on that opportunity. Targeted video ads in Instagram Stories were instrumental in both reaching our key moviegoing audience and driving them to the theaters opening weekend.
Drive intent and box office sales

For the release of Den of Thieves, STX Entertainment wanted to drive intent to see the film and increase attendance among men and multicultural audiences in theaters.

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Lights. Camera. Stories.

To promote its crime thriller Den of Thieves, STX Entertainment needed an exciting new way to grab the attention of male action movie fans. The studio first created a compelling video trailer introduction that showcased the film’s star actors, Gerard Butler and 50 Cent. It then decided to run it as a video ad in Instagram Stories, because the full-screen, vertical viewing format is perfect for immersive storytelling on digital devices.

STX Entertainment followed best practices for the film industry and mobile, such as presenting the talent in the first three seconds and highlighting action sequences. The 10-second video ad creative had a gritty feel, and focused on cars speeding and guns blazing, with the film’s stars right in the thick of it. The dialogue was both threatening and humorous, providing a glimpse into the film’s compelling story line. A Watch More call to action led people to click through to the full trailer.

STX Entertainment used its own segmented moviegoer data to reach male moviegoers aged 18–45 with an interest in relevant films and gaming, as well as male moviegoers with an interest in Hispanic and/or African-American culture. The star-packed campaign ran from January 1–15, 2018, and results were determined using a Facebook brand lift study, which showed:

  • 12.1-point lift in ad recall

  • 5.1-point lift in intent to see the film in theaters

  • 4.26 million people reached

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