‘Get Butts in Seats’ Is WongDoody’s Job

LOS ANGELES Following a brief review, the IFP/Los Angeles Film Festival has tapped independent WongDoody to create a multifaceted ad campaign for its 2005 program, the agency said Wednesday.

The agency said it competed against at least three other “high-profile” Los Angeles-area shops. Based in Seattle, WongDoody will handle the account from its Los Angeles office.

Scheduled for a spring break, WongDoody’s campaign—including television, radio, print, movie trailer and interactive work—will be spearheaded by creative director Michael Boychuk.

WongDoody is already familiar with film festival marketing, having crafted an extensive campaign for the Seattle International Film Festival in 2004.

“The ultimate goal is to get more people to come to the festival,” said the agency’s new business manager, Mario Schulzke. “Strategically, we want to democratize the experience, and make people aware of all the [festival’s] venues and offerings. Get butts in seats.”

“We’re delighted with the new partnership,” said the client’s director of marketing, John Becker, in a statement. The festival has seen “impressive success and growth” since its launch 1995, he said.

The 2005 film fest, scheduled for June 16-26 at movie theaters throughout the city, will showcase more than 200 independently produced features, shorts, documentaries and music videos representing 32 countries. Work that premiered at last year’s festival included Garden State, Before Sunset, Hero and Fahrenheit 9/11. The annual event also features movie-related activities, seminars, outdoor screenings and family days.

The festival spent $540,000 on advertising between January and October 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Its reported ad spend was only $120,000 in 2003.

Although the festival campaign is essentially a pro bono assignment, WongDoody said the account is valuable in terms of creative opportunities and regional exposure.

“The Los Angeles Film Festival is not just for highbrow cinephiles,” Schulzke said. “It’s for everyone, and our work will reflect that.”