How Dailymotion and CANAL+ managed to host a PR screening… with cinemas closed

Colas Courjal
Apr 10 · 4 min read
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Virtual VIP preview: available at home for all guests with a password

The launch of a new season from CANAL+’s “Original Creation” catalog is usually an opportunity to organize a VIP event with a screening of the first episode. Guests, including producers, talent, partners, press and advertisers are invited to a VIP venue in Paris… the perfect occasion for everyone to get a sneak preview of the new season and to chat with the production team. But that was before COVID-19.

As a major digital broadcaster, Dailymotion was in a unique position to offer an alternative way to promote this major series. And that’s what we did for the new season of The Bureau (Le Bureau des Légendes), thanks to strong collaboration with the Communication, Public Relations and Digital teams at CANAL+.

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The Bureau (Le Bureau des Légendes), Season 5: 10 episodes of 52 minutes,
created by Éric Rochant. Season 5 from Monday, April 6, only on CANAL+

How to be social during social distancing?

The PR screening of the first episode of The Bureau had been planned for a long time. Confinement in France was announced on the evening of March 16, 2020 by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, thereby leading to the de-facto cancellation of all public or private events, even more so those organized in a closed space. The production team quickly reorganized themselves to finish the final post-production touch-ups, as the broadcasting date of the new season on CANAL+ and myCanal was not to be delayed. The first episode was scheduled for Monday April 6th.

CANAL+ is already managing multiple channels on Dailymotion, where they publish trailers, short extracts, and promotional content around their programs. So, the idea of organizing a dedicated digital PR event on Dailymotion was quite logical.

A new form of digital PR event

The video was uploaded by the CANAL+ Digital Team in private mode and protected with a password. An invitation email was sent to all the guests, providing them with the link to the episode and the password.

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Before 8 pm, CANAL+ published the trailer, and at 8 pm they replaced the trailer video with the first episode. Video replacement is a unique feature on Dailymotion, available to verified partners allowing them to change the video source without modifying the video URL. In this case it was really important that the guests who had already received the invitation by mail earlier in the afternoon were able to access the new video.

Short and private, just like IRL

In the same way, a real PR screening is organized, the video was only available for 4 hours. Additionally, as this is sensitive content with regards to piracy, the video was also protected by HLS encryption.

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Introductory speech from Gérald-Brice Viret,
General Manager of Canal+ Group Programs

CANAL+ also decided to include speeches from Gérald-Brice Viret
General Manager of Canal+ Group Programs, Alex Berger, President & Executive Producer TOP (The Oligarchs Productions), and Éric Rochant, Showrunner of The Bureau (“Le Bureau des Légendes”). It was an original way to replace the habitual introductory speeches, giving guests important information about context, artistic intentions, broadcasting planning, special thanks and fun facts.

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Introductory speech from Éric Rochant,
The Bureau (Le Bureau des Légendes) Showrunner

Thanks to the Advanced Statistics tool available in the Dailymotion Partner Space, we estimated the audience at more than 400 simultaneous viewers (80% on computer, 15% on mobile and 5% on tablet). That’s a huge virtual room! We are proud to have been part of this digital adventure and to have helped media and communication teams ensure the continued promotion of their premium content to confined audiences.

“We are delighted with the incredible success of this virtual projection, which was very appreciated. We are also very proud to have had the opportunity to promote one of our major series, Le Bureau des Légendes, despite the confinement”, Emilie Pietrini, Chief Communication and Brand Officer of CANAL+ Group.

The current crisis is forcing everyone to rethink quickly standard communication patterns. This initiative can also inspire any partners working in PR, communication and marketing.

Special thanks to all the team of The Bureau (Le Bureau des Légendes), Alex Berger, President & Executive producer TOP-The Oligarchs Productions and Eric Rochant, Showrunner of the series.

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