Monday, 12 August 2013

Elysium: Proof that concept marketing doesn't work

On Thursday 9th May, I wrote a reaction commentary to an intriguing article found in Variety. The original piece explored the notion that studios are favouring a more concept-driven marketing approach for major summer tent-poles as opposed to campaigns driven primarily by star-power and narrative.

"The idea is to sell a film initially based on a concept", says Par domestic marketing and distrib prexy Megan Colligan.

The article focused on blockbuster hopefuls such as World War Z, The Lone Ranger and Elysium (see right). It claimed that setting an "iconic" tone was the most important aspect of selling these movies.

I disagreed with this notion at the time of the article's publishing but opted to reserve overall judgement until sufficient box-office numbers were available.

Elysium  is the last of this year's summer tent-poles to implement this marketing strategy. It was released in the US on 9th August and is due for release in the UK on 21st August 2013.

Interestingly, the film's marketing campaign has completely transformed in recent months, there is now less focus on concept and more on star power and narrative. Aside from it being a drastic tactical change, it does suggest that recent box-office disappointments have exposed the flaws within the concept marketing strategy.

Luckily for Sony, the film's distributor, there was still time to adapt and refine their campaign, which would allow them an opportunity to exploit the film's assets and hopefully avoid becoming an expensive box-office casualty, like Disney's The Lone Ranger.

This article will seek to explore these flaws and the subsequent risks that accompany such an ambitious yet inconsistent style of movie marketing.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

X-Men: Days Of Future Past - Viral Marketing Campaign Builds Momentum

The viral marketing campaign for Bryan Singer's X-Men Days of Future Past is picking up some serious momentum with the recent launch of the excellent Trask Industries website.

The fictional company site delves into the history and mythology of Trask Industries and its creator Bolivar Trask (played by Peter Dinklage - TV's Game of Thrones). The site also explores the creation of the Sentinels from Mark I to X.