Movie Marketing Madness: Youth

youth_ver2Time marches on. Death and taxes. So and so on with all the cliches and bromides about how getting older is inevitable and yada yada yada. These are things we tell us to remind that we’re all getting older and that the only journey we’re really on is one toward the grave. We can kvetch about it and make jokes about new pains every day and such, but we know where we’re headed. The only hope we have is that we don’t lose too much of our vim and vigor on the way. We all want to live a long life but we want to still feel youthful and energetic right up to the very end. The lucky among us achieve that goal.

The new movie Youth is about just that. Michael Caine plays Fred, a retired conductor on holiday with his daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz) and best friend Mick, a film director (Harvey Keitel). Fred is comfortably retired but is being lured back for a final concert for the Queen while Mick is contemplating what may be the final film of his career. So the story catches both characters as they are at a crossroads both professionally and in their lives as they realize the end of the road may be approaching a lot faster than they may have once thought.

The Posters

The main theatrical poster shows Caine in a tuxedo walking along a path in the middle of a body of water as a gorgeous young lady in some sort of glamorous outfit walks in the opposite direction. It’s like he’s walking toward a performance of some kind while she, obviously representing his youth, which he’s moving away from. The cast list is at the top along with some festival awards.

It’s a simple poster but it’s nice and elegant. I would have liked to have seen something that provided a bit more insight into the story but this is fine. The success or failure of the film isn’t going to ride on the poster so this is..yeah, it’s fine.

All five of the main characters and actors got character posters. Each one shows the character in some sort of pose that, it can be assumed, is representative of him or her. The two main unique characteristics for each one is the different background and the fact that the appropriate actor’s name is highlighted in the cast list.

The Trailers

The first trailer immediately introduces Caine’s character and sets up that he’s being sent to a resort of sorts by his daughter, who we learn he’s somewhat estranged from, or at least has issues with. We also see his friendship with Keitel’s character and that while he’s retired he still longs for the serenity creating music can bring.

Look, you’re going to come to this movie if you’re a fan of Caine and/or Keitel and this shows both those off very well. It’s the kind of movie that’s been done before – aging personalities reflecting back on their lives and trying to repair relationships gone bad – but with these two heavy-hitters, along with supporting turns by Weisz and Jane Fonda – it’s hard to say this doesn’t work.

Online and Social

The movie’s official website is a simple effort that’s in-line with most of Fox Searchlight’s sites.

The top of the page has image that puts together all the character one-sheets to show off the entire cast. As you scroll down you see the theatrical poster and are promoted to watch the trailer or find a theater where the film is playing.

youth pic 2

“Cast” bios are next, with all the main players as well as the director, Paolo Sorrentino, getting brief write-ups of their career and history. Then there’s a quick rotator with some of the logos of the festivals the movie has appeared at. “Videos” has the trailer and a video featurette.

The page finishes off with about eight “Photos” from the movie, a section of “Social Stream” updates about various premieres, cast Q&As and so on and finally posts about the movie from the Inside Searchlight blog.

The movie wasn’t given its’ own social profiles so it hitched a ride on the Fox Searchlight profiles.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing on TV that I’m aware of or could find. There was some minimal online advertising done but that’s about it.

Media and Publicity

Not a huge press push, but there was still plenty of activity. The three primary actors – Caine, Keitel and Weisz – did a roundtable interview where they talked about working with each other and how it was such a joy and all that. Caine in particular would hit similar beats and talking points throughout the press push in interviews like this and others.

youth pic 3
Rachel Weisz as “Lena” in YOUTH. Photo by Gianni Fiorito. © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

There was also some conversation, just because it’s a requirement for any film coming out at this time of year, around how the movie might be a late-innings contender for awards consideration, particularly for Caine. That was focused specifically around the fact that it won some festival accolades just prior to release, which didn’t hurt its chances.

Overall

There’s not a huge campaign to talk about here but what there is works well at selling a subdued, adult drama about characters who are evaluating their place in life as they near the end of their own. As I said above, it’s the performances by Caine, Weisz and Keitel – and Fonda, to be fair – that are going to draw people into the movie. It’s never going to reach or appeal to a wide audience, but if it can squeeze out a couple end-of-year awards nominations it will be a prestige win for what looks to be an enjoyable, if contemplative, film.