The Audio Dramatization of the Birth of Jesus Christ
From Silent Night to Good News
On a starry evening, as the world lay quiet, shepherds received the joyful news that Jesus Christ had been born at Bethlehem. As the world approached Christmas 2020, we faced a different kind of silent night. With travel limited and large events and community celebrations cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, families around the globe found themselves settling in for a much quieter, emptier holiday season. In this hushed era, what could be done to bring the spirit of Christmas – the feeling usually captured in holiday concerts, worship services, school programs, and community events – into the homes of people everywhere? The answer was a new approach to telling the Christmas story; an at-home experience that would awaken imaginations, touch hearts, and make the story of Jesus’s birth – the joyful good news – ever more relevant to a world in need. How would that rich experience explode across the globe, reaching more than two million people in countries everywhere in only a few weeks? That’s where WB Creative comes in.
AudioStories, a creator of dramatic audio content (and a sister company of WB Creative), solicited WB’s help to promote and drive listenership of their holiday release, NATIVITY: The Audio Dramatization of the Birth of Jesus Christ. NATIVITY was an effort by the AudioStories team to create a free gift that would help families enjoy their home-based holiday season in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As discussions got underway with the AudioStories team, the big idea for the activation became clear. The magic of NATIVITY was in its ability to awaken listener’s own imagination to bring the Christmas story to life, like a movie in their own minds. The WB team knew that the most inspiring and motivating way to promote the series and drive engagement would be to help people have that experience for themselves. They needed to hear the audio.
To this end, with the release of each new episode of NATIVITY, WB created simple social media videos, inspiring messages about the story of Christmas that included brief segments of the audio from the series, allowing social users to experience bits of the content right in their own social feeds.
Based on this approach, the series spread across social media like wildfire. The social push was bolstered through online partnerships with other nativity-focused organizations including the Palo Alto Christmas Creche Exhibit, one of the West Coast’s foremost annual holiday creche events. Press outreach was also an emphasis, and multiple features were achieved through the work of the WB team. Support content was also developed including digital billboards that were featured in major metro areas, Spotify radio ads, Google Ads, and a virtual concert that brought together viewers from across the US for holiday performances from noted vocalists and the NATIVITY cast.
In the end, the campaign was a notable success. The brief, 3-week release reached nearly 2 million people on social media, with more than 500,000 hearing portions of the series through social posts. Roughly 38,000 listeners heard complete episodes from their homes in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and many other countries. Roughly 80% of those listened to all five episodes, with 90% giving the series a rating of 4 or 5 on a five-point scale.
Bringing a meaningful Christmas gift to millions of people in need? That’s Creative that Matters.
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