Viral marketing agency Thinkmodo has had plenty of experience, and success, in doing real-world pranks for horror movies. Think back to 2013’s hugely popular “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise” for the […]
A few weeks back, marketing tech firm Amobee helped me put together a list of the most anticipated movies of 2017 by measuring the volume and sentiment of social chatter […]
Yesterday, A24—the studio behind recent eccentric word-of-mouth-driven movies like The Lobster, Moonlight and Swiss Army Man—released a mysterious trailer. Listed simply as "Untitled," there's little else that's known about the movie, or whatever this is, other than it takes place "in our near future," according to Facebook and Twitter posts from the studio.
The Room, a 2003 romantic drama from director Tommy Wiseau, is apparently so bad it's good. It's become a staple of midnight cult screenings, and not because of its high quality. As the film's Wikipedia entry so succinctly puts it: "The Room has been critically panned for its acting, screenplay, dialogue, production values, score, direction and cinematography." How do you advertise the screenings, then? As honestly as you can.
Here in Chicago, it's beginning to get consistently cold. We've got that drab, gray thing going on that will be the default status until, roughly, March. We're getting to the point where "Do I have to?" is the only reasonable response to being asked to go outside. The entire area has some kind of head or sinus cold and is thinking only about getting through the winter, when the promise of spring (and a new world champion Chicago Cubs season) returns. The movie industry is also beginning to turn its attention the coming year. While it finishes out 2016 with a bevy of high-profile releases, many of those will expand to more theaters come January. And the ultimate goal for many of this month's releases is awards consideration in the coming year. We're also at the point of the year where the premiere lineup for next month's Sundance Film Festival has been released and studios and distributors will be flocking to Utah to find their next batch of acclaimed movies. The general audience has also begun looking forward to 2017, but the focus is less on the prestige releases and more on the big-budget franchise movies that sell a lot of popcorn and action figures—the kind of movies that are based on existing properties and feature chiseled abs, swords, superhero hijinks and above-the-title actors bringing your favorite childhood characters to life. Marketing technologies firm Amobee put together a list of next year's most-anticipated movies based on the volume of online content being created by the audience. Here's the top 10:
We've come to the end of another year, friends. Which means it's time to look back and evaluate what happened in the movie marketing world over the past 12 months. There were a number of notable trends this year when it came to marketing Hollywood's latest releases. There was, of course, a heavy reliance on nostalgia, as studios pulled out titles that hadn't been touched for over a decade, like Independence Day, Bridget Jones and others for "legacy sequels" that hoped to rekindle some of that old magic. And superheroes continued to be available regularly, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Doctor Strange and other costumed choices at the box office. It was also a year when a few trends started to solidify in terms of platforms and tactics. Studios are regularly hosting Facebook Q&As with stars in the weeks before release. Snapchat is becoming a regular platform as well, both for organic stories and paid executions such as the "Snap to Unlock" ads run for The Girl on the Train, Passengers and other movies. Official websites are also becoming less and less essential, with many movies putting up placeholder sites with little to no information, or skipping owned sites altogether. With all that said, a number of campaigns were more notable than others. Below are the ones that really broke through the clutter and made a big impression, though it should be noted that not all of these led to box-office success. Here, then, in no particular order, are the 10 most memorable movie campaigns of 2016.
We love it when an ad comes with a "Don't try this at home" disclaimer, because you know you're about to see something that somebody's gonna want to try at home, and it will fuel many future guffaws. But seriously, though, we hope you won't try this at home.
Miss Sloane tells the story of a high-power Washington, D.C., lobbyist (played by Jessica Chastain) who's asked to work on behalf of the gun lobby. Citing moral considerations, she refuses and instead takes on a project to work against the gun industry and its interests, skirting the law and risking her career to do so. It's an adult-skewing drama that's not a comic-book adaptation or franchise sequel/spinoff, but does feature what's said to be a powerhouse performance from Chastain in a story that's absolutely relevant given our current social climate. Because it doesn't come with the built-in name recognition of something like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or Star Wars, EuropaCorp, the studio behind the movie, made Chastain the central focus of the campaign and sold the movie as a pulse-pounding thriller. The poster positioned Sloane hovering over the nation's capital like a benevolent god, and the trailers and TV spots sold the character as being in control and fearless, even in the face of one of the country's most powerful advocacy groups. But how did those ads and that campaign actually activate the audience?
Harry: "Every year I just try to get from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year's." Sally: "A lot of suicides." Yeah, it's a stressful time of year. Many of us are dealing with extended family more than we do any other time of year, and so are looking for moments of respite and escape. We might disappear into our phones, we might hide a small bottle of wine in the linen closet, or we might drive to Target and just sit in the parking lot for a sec. Hollywood is, of course, hoping we got to the movies. To that end, it's put together a December release slate that mixes in a little bit of everything, from family-friendly comedies to big-budget blockbusters to prestige dramas vying for awards consideration. Let's have a look at the contenders.
When Bad Santa 2 hits theaters this week, it will join a long list of releases this year that are sequels to movies made before Steve Jobs introduced the iPod. Or before Steve Jobs even returned to Apple in 1997. So far in 2016, we've seen Independence Day, Bridget Jones' Diary, Zoolander and others all received much-delayed new installments, though audience response to them varied greatly. 2003's Bad Santa introduced us to Willie, a foul-mouthed drunk conman, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who dresses up as Santa Claus to get inside department stores when they're flush with cash during the holiday season. There are complications and problems, many of which he causes himself, and whatever the opposite of "heartwarming, inspirational holiday story" is, that was it. Now, 13 years later, Willie and his compatriot Marcus (Tony Cox) are back for more Christmas thievery, this time including Willie's mother, played by Kathy Bates. Instead of a department store (possibly a reflection of how the retail landscape is no longer the golden goose it was over a decade ago), the crooks have their eye set on a charity in Chicago, though all the characters are still as loathsome as they were when we first met them.