Amazon Prime Video uses TikTok duets to host voice-acting contest 

Streaming platform in France gives away a voice-acting gig via a TikTok contest, lands 45 million impressions

To promote its content in France, Amazon Prime Video launched the Dubbing Factory, a TikTok contest to find the next voice actor for one of its Amazon Original shows. To enter the competition, people had until 6 December 2021 to dub one of six clips from popular series that feature in Prime Video’s catalogue.

After recording the demo using TikTok’s Duet feature, entrants needed to post their attempt under the hashtag #DubbingFactory to enter the competition.

The brand partnered with popular TikTokers such as Jessy (‘jessy_dubuis’, 3.4 million followers) and Justine (‘justinemaarc’, 4.5 million followers) to take part in the challenge and raise awareness of the campaign.

The winner was selected by a jury comprising YouTuber Jessy MP4 who does parody dubbing, and Jean-Pierre Michaël, one of France’s top voice actors (having voiced roles played by Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt and Jude Law). The winner was invited to the studio in June 2022 for a recording session of Amazon Original The Boys.

The campaign was created with agency Herezie, Paris.

Results / The campaign won a Gold in the Digital/Mobile category at the Clio Awards 2023. According to the agency, over 83,000 people participated in the challenge. The campaign generated 45 million impressions, 120,000 new followers on Prime Video France’s TikTok account and had a total reach of 12.3 million. The hashtag had 300 million views.  

Contagious Insight 

Show-off / According to The Global Television Demand report, in 2020, Amazon Prime Video lagged well behind Netflix in terms of subscribers in France, with a market share just over 10% compared to Netflix’s 63.8% share. Speaking to Contagious in August 2021 about Amazon Prime Video’s Cités campaign, Herezie’s executive creative director Paul Marty explained that the reason why the streamer had a small market share in France was because it launched there well after its competitors, and initially its content was predominantly from the US and the UK, and not locally relevant enough. Marty revealed: ‘I think the key for Prime Video is going to be capitalising on how it differs from other streaming platforms […] We need to focus on showing people that we are the experts in entertainment, rather than focusing on what others are doing and trying to mimic that.’

In other words, the remedy to the streaming platform’s challenge lies in its specific offering: its signature shows. This campaign does just that, it gives the streaming platform’s catalogue huge visibility by bringing them to TikTok. The Duet mechanic taps into people’s compulsion to perform, with the added incentive of the chance to voice an actual show. It’s a supremely engaging competition, which creates a host of TikTok content out of Amazon Prime Video’s top shows, which is then shared to all and sundry – driving awareness of the entertainment to be found on the streaming platform. Nissan recently employed a similar strategy for its #HowDoYouSayAriya campaign, creating a fun participatory AR filter game to help build brand recognition around the car’s launch in the US. By focusing on this micro-influencer method, Nissan was able to generate 2,400 videos in just 48 hours – impressive, and effective, given that TikTok For Business states that this type of user-generated ad content is 56% more memorable than ads created for TikTok by a brand itself. 

Fame-worthy / The Dubbing Factory puts people centre stage in the creative process of Amazon Prime Video shows. By launching an interactive contest, the brand doesn’t passively advertise at its audience, instead, it fosters interest for its offering by embracing co-creation. Speaking to Contagious in 2022 about the benefits of co-creation, marketing professors Tessa Misiaszek said: ‘Brands can either embrace it, or try to fight it, but you won’t win in the end if you’re not having that two-way communication with your consumer. Before you think, I have to let the consumer create my motto or my logo, that’s not what we’re saying. But you can have dialogue with your consumers, to understand what their needs are, to understand how they’re actually utilising your product.’

Letting the audience tell Amazon Prime Video Story story and offer their own interpretations of its shows in their own language gives people a reason to take interest, to develop a personal relationship with the brand and its catalogue. And, by inserting its audience into the dubbing process – a practice deeply ingrained in French movie culture – the brand makes Amazon and its shows culturally relevant to the local French market. Indeed, according to the French news public radio RFI, France has the largest dubbing industry in the world. The country’s compulsive habit of dubbing foreign films is so prevalent and well-known that it has been studied statistically, covered in a plethora of articles and even made fun of in comedy sketches.

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