Online Trends

Published May 18th 2017

Unpicking the Audience for Alien: Covenant

We analyze the online audience surrounding Alien: Covenant using Brandwatch Audiences. What interesting tidbits will we uncover? Gemma Joyce investigates.

The Alien series is back and, as per usual, it’s scary af.

Released in the US on the 19th May, Alien: Covenant is the sixth installment of the overall Alien series (it’s a sequel to 2012’s Prometheus but takes place before 1979’s Alien).

The Brandwatch React team doesn’t like to be scared. The Brandwatch React team prefers the regulated, aptly lit, air freshened familiarity of a tidy office than the sticky, sweaty, confined arena of spookiness that is the cinema playing Alien: Covenant. That’s why we have so much data.

Today we analyze the online audience surrounding the movie using Brandwatch Audiences. In a matter of minutes, we were able to break down the groups of authors that followed @AlienAnthology and @AlienMoviesUK on Twitter by a number of different demographic criteria, as well as look at the trending content in that audience.

Where are the ladies at?

This is a heavily male audience, with 80% of gender-categorized authors being dudes.

This is interesting given the strong female lead, “Daniels”. Katherine Waterston, who plays the character is apparently well aware of the comparisons that will likely be drawn between Daniels and Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, who is widely celebrated as one of the first action heroines. Obviously this doesn’t translate into a guaranteed high turnout from female audience members, but one might expect a little more interest.

Time will tell whether women are more likely to talk about the film as it opens in the US than follow the dedicated Twitter accounts.

Our data suggests that the proportion of women discussing Alien: Covenant on 12th May (when the movie was released in the UK) was around 27%.

Movie buffs

People who follow the Alien Twitter accounts in question tend to be really interested in movies.

It makes sense, given that it is a movie. But also that the movie is a sequel to a prequel. Kind of like a non-Star Wars fan is probably less likely to go see a Star Wars movie if they’ve not seen all of the others. If you’ve seen all of the Alien movies and are a big enough fan to like the page, it makes sense that you’re more of a movie buff.

(Note: The percentages shown above represent the portion of that audience compared to the rest of Twitter. For example, from this you could deduct that movie lovers are 553% more likely to follow one of the Alien movie Twitter accounts than other accounts on Twitter).

It shows in their trending stories, too.

Compare that to followers of @beourguest (the Beauty and the Beast movie Twitter account) and you’ll see a noticeable difference.

Trending amongst the @beourguest conversation were Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran and Harry Potter.

While there was an entertainment focus, it certainly wasn’t all about the latest movie news. It’s safe to say that Alien: Covenant is attracting more classic movie-lovers than Disney’s hit film.

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Grown-ups

Brandwatch Audiences also looks at the profession of authors. We thought it would be interesting to examine the differences between followers of Alien: Covenant and those interested in a film with a similar genre and age group target.

When we compared those following Alien: Covenant with followers of upcoming horror flick The Mummy we found that, while the differences were subtle, there was a higher proportion of students interested in The Mummy, while there were more teachers or lecturers interested in Alien: Covenant.

If you’re seeing the movie this weekend you may not be surprised to see a slightly more mature audience in the seats around you than when you go to see The Mummy later in the year.

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Getting highly personal with the audience

The marketing surrounding Alien: Covenant has been terrifyingly good. If you’re not a fan of personalized marketing, maybe hide behind the sofa now.

Those who retweeted have been receiving scary reminders ever since, with their names incorporated into branded videos.

Here’s what our friend John McCarthy of The Drum has been getting so far.

Super fans can also create their very own “Walter” (built to serve) at www.meetwalter.com.

This level of personalization is rarely seen – viewers of the UK’s Channel 4 on demand service were actually called out by name in the terrifying Alien: Covenant ad.

It’s certainly proof that this Alien movie has adapted to technology that may not have even been imaginable when the first in the series was released over thirty years ago. It’s also a little unnerving. We’ve discussed the blurry boundaries of intriguing and creepy marketing before, and the Alien example may be exciting for some.

If calling out viewers of an ad by name is something that catches on, it won’t be long til somebody oversteps the mark.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? Drop us an email at react@brandwatch.com for more information.

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