AOL Uses IM to ‘Cry_Wolf’

NEW YORK AOL said it has launched an instant-messaging promotion for NBC Universal’s Rogue Pictures September release of the teen thriller Cry_Wolf.

AOL’s marketing services team made the AOL Instant Messenger a centerpiece of the push, since Cry_Wolf includes AIM as part of its plotline of a killer stalking a high school. The movie, which stars Jon Bon Jovi, was the winner of the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival. It opens Sept. 16.

AOL has created an AIM game users can play via cellphone, which it promoted during screenings of House of Wax, the Paris Hilton horror movie. Prizes include a screening with the Cry_Wolf cast and a chance to win a Chrysler Crossfire. There is also an IM bot, which can be used to obtain show times and participate in polls related to the film.

Christine Loredo, AOL senior marketing manager, said the movie was tailor-made for instant-messaging promotion, not only by its part in the movie but also because of the role it plays in teens’ lives. “Obviously, if you’re in that age group, you use instant messaging,” she said.

The campaign also features a video game based on the movie that AOL created in conjunction with Clear Games. AOL said it would promote the movie through the “AIM Today” pop-up screen that opens for its instant messenger users and in the AIM ad unit. AOL also set up a Cry_Wolf blog in its AOL Live Journals section, where director Jeff Wadlow discusses the making of the movie.