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From TikTok and Roblox to Game Of Thrones, how DuoLingo is using trends for viral marketing

One morning the other day, James Kuczynski, creative director of brand and marketing at DuoLingo, got an email that had nothing in connection with the usual languages people learn each day on the platform. Instead, it had been about High Valyrian, the ancientand fictionalmother tongue of the old Valyrian Freehold on the continent of Essos in Game Of Thrones.

I woke up to Slack message of a post on Twitter where someone is creating a whole wedding thats only occur High Valyrian, Kuczynski said, referencing a recently available Reddit post. They literally say everyone who’s going to arrived at the wedding must register with learn High Valyrian on DuoLingo to wait the wedding which means you understand whats going on.

Before earlier this weekends premiere of House Of The Dragon, DuoLingo has been partnering with HBO Max to produce a course for the brand new series, that is predicated on author George R.R. Martins novel, Fire & Blood. The High Valyrian course, which debuted in 2019, recently expanded to nearly 400 content produced by linguist David Peterson, the constructed languages inventor. However, this is actually the first-time DuoLingo has officially collaborated with HBO for the show. If they announced the collaboration in mid-July, DuoLingo said 514,000 individuals were actively learning High Valyrian on the platform, however the company said that number has increased by 155% during the past month. The brand new campaign also contains a challenge with to be able to win a life-size Game Of Thrones collectible steel sword that DuoLingos said comes with an estimated retail value of $25,000.

HBO Max can be giving High Valyrian speakers a method to apply their new language skills with a fresh augmented reality-enabled app, which lets people raise a virtual dragon in the home since it grows as time passes. (The app is powered by tech from the Pokemon Go maker Niantic and uses phrases that folks learn via DuoLingos lessons.) Terms of the agreement werent disclosed, but HBO Max and DuoLingo may also be co-marketing across several mediums. New billboards have already been teasing out the course with cryptic messages written in High Valyrian. Meanwhile, DuoLingo offers two free months of its paid DuoLingo Plus version to HBO subscribers.

The collaboration is merely one of the numerous ways the language app has sought to utilize trends as part of its online marketing strategy across a number of platformsallowing the app to target more on organic marketing instead of paid advertising. From the wildly popular TikTok account to experiences on Roblox, DuoLingo is tinkering with methods to create viral content that both entertains and educates audiences that may not otherwise be thinking about looking forward to winter ahead before learning a fresh language.

We try to find moments in culture, where you can find these cult audiences these cohorts of individuals that are hardcore fans about something, Kuczynski said. What we do is actually try to resonate using them because we feel just like whenever we can inspire identification using them and our brand and what we do being an education language brand, they almost become ambassadors for all of us. That in and of itself is really a little bit of content we are able to share and return back and build relationships that community.

We try to find moments in culture, where you can find these cult audiences these cohorts of individuals that are hardcore fans about something.

James Kuczynski, creative director of brand and marketing, DuoLingo

This isnt the very first time DuoLingo did a cross-promotion for a language and a show. In 2018, the business collaborated with CBS to build up a Klingon course for Star Trek fans. This past year, it offered aspiring French speakers a free of charge month of classes to greatly help co-market Season 2 of Netflixs Emily In Paris. DuoLingo in addition has seen upticks in learning certain languages even though theres no official partnership. For instance, it found that more folks started learning Korean on the app following the Netflix debut of Squid Game.

When people join DuoLingo to understand a fictional languagewhether its High Valyrian or languages from other shows such as for example Klingon in Star Trek43% of these also commence to study another language, in accordance with DuoLingo. (For House Of The Dragon, HBO had to return to the languages creator to build up more language for the brand new series because more High Valyrian is spoken than in previous seasons.)

It must feel just like its not forced and appears like an excellent partnership and is practical with the language and the show going to launch again, said Claudia Ratterman, a director analyst at Gartner centered on marketing. Its definitely an excellent strategic method for brands to become a section of the conversation and also increase the prospect of virality particularly when it could be hard if you have a lot of people competing for folks attention.

DuoLingos online marketing strategy spans numerous online platforms. Between 2020 and 2021, advertising increased from $1.54 million to $6.76 million, in accordance with data from the analytics firm Kantar. However, DuoLingo spent $1.16 million from January through June, down from $3.56 million through the same period this past year. The company also offers shifted spending across various platforms. In accordance with data from the ad-tracking firm Pathmatics, DuoLingowhich began advertising across streaming and connected TVs in September 2021has up to now spent $488,000 on OTT ads in 2022 in comparison to $325,000 most of this past year.

The app in addition has seen early success on other platforms to gamify language learning. Last fall, it went viral on TikTok because of zany videos featuring its mascot and since that time has continued to keep traction on the social video app. Earlier come early july, DuoLingo made its Roblox debut by creating an event that lets people test their Spanish skills in a hedge maze, go to a virtual museum celebrating the apps 10-year-anniversary or buy products for his or her avatar.

Up to now, DuoLingos experience on Roblox has been visited a lot more than 10 million times. Its also begun some early tests in the last couple of weeks on newer apps such as for example BeReal. Finding methods to arrive on various platforms in addition has been a means for Roblox to rack up views with organic content. In accordance with Kuczynski, content from the Roblox experience has been been viewed between 8 million and 9 million times after videos were reposted to YouTube and TikTok.

What were worked up about at this time is riding with this momentum which were seeing when it comes to brand love and really beginning to do some experiments in a few of the areas to see whether its worthwhile exploring even more, Kuczynski said.

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