Page 2 of 4

Selling Your Movie By Referencing Others

My latest Adfreak post looks at how The Boss Baby is just the latest movie to work in a nod to the box-office competition to its own marketing campaign. Oh, and I make a That Thing You Do! joke.

Next week, The Boss Baby hits theaters. The latest Dreamworks Animation release features Alec Baldwin voicing a briefcase-wielding, suit-and-tie-wearing baby who’s sent undercover to a family to try to foil the plans of Puppy Co., which is working to out-cute the baby industry. To date, the marketing for the movie has focused on the inherent comedy of Baldwin’s voice coming out of a pint-sized body and the conflict between the baby and the older brother who discovers what’s really going on. The latest trailer, though, adds another element to the opening with a direct nod to the competition it will face at the box office.

Source: The Boss Baby Is the Latest Movie to Sell Itself by Winking at the Competition – Adweek

Don’t Hold Your Breath for More R-Rated Super Hero Movies

My latest Adfreak post is live, outlining the reasons I’m skeptical as to the results of a recent Fandango survey claiming many people want more R-rated super hero movies.

Most all of the previous X-Men movies have been rated PG-13. But Logan, like last year’s Deadpool, is violent enough to earn itself an R rating. Those two are, to date, the only exceptions to the PG-13 rule that has dominated movies from both Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. In the past, the only comic-based movies that have delved into R-rated territory have been the Blade series starring Wesley Snipes, Lionsgate’s two Punisher films and adaptations of indie books like Barb Wire, Spawn, Kick-Ass and a few others that didn’t need to get the the kids into the theater along with the older crowd.According to a new survey from online ticket seller Fandango, though, the audience is anxious for more hard-core superhero movies. The company said 71 percent of respondents want more R-rated comic book movies, while 86 percent were specifically anxious to see a more violent Logan in theaters.

Source: Despite Logan and Deadpool, Don’t Expect a Flood of R-Rated Superhero Movies – Adweek

I was a bit surprised in all the coverage the survey received that no one was doing any sort of serious analysis of the results. What I mention in my post is just a couple of the reasons why this is likely at best skewed and at worst total bull.

The Cure Involves Fake News

I went a bit more in-depth on Fox’s “fake news” viral efforts for A Cure For Wellness in my latest Adweek post:

Discussion of “fake news” is a huge deal these days. After being a pervasive media narrative during the election cycle, Facebook and other platforms are making efforts to stop the spread of inaccurate information even as it becomes more pervasive. Not only that but, without getting too political, it’s also become weaponized, as anything that is offensive or unpleasant to someone’s sensibilities is labeled as “fake news,” often with “Sad!” appended to the commentary. Twentieth Century Fox, though, is hoping some fake news can help bring people in to its new movie, A Cure for Wellness.

Source: Fox Has Been Spreading Fake News About Trump and Others as Part of a Movie Campaign – Adweek

Chevy Helps Build LEGO Batman Movie Buzz

New from me at Adweek:

Chevrolet has long been running a campaign that shows a group of “ordinary” people, a Chevy car and has them react in disbelief to how safe it is, how many awards it’s won and generally how awesome it is. Now, Chevy is launching a campaign in conjunction with Warner Bros. to promote The Lego Batman Movie, coming out in February. To kick things off, the car maker created a commercial (with the help of Commonwealth/McCann) that plays just like those real ads, but features a group of Lego mini-fig people being shown the Batmobile and asked what kind of person they think would drive such a car.

Source: Chevrolet Unveils a Life-Size Lego Batmobile, and a Self-Parody Ad to Match | Adweek

Fandango vs. Amobee

This was posted last week and I’m just getting to it, but my latest Adweek post compares the Amobee data I shared a few weeks ago to Fandango’s recently-released list of most-anticipated movies of 2017:

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 about the planned titles.

Source: Here Are Fandango’s Picks for the Most Anticipated Movies of 2017 | Adweek

A24 Teases Untitled Project


Wrote a post for Adfreak about the mysterious “untitled” trailer that came out yesterday and which has everyone talking.

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.

Source: A24 Drops Untitled Trailer for Mysterious, Reality-Bending Movie | Adweek

2017 Movies With Social Buzz

My latest Adweek column uses data from marketing tech firm Amobee on social media chatter to predict 2017’s most-anticipated 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.

Source: What Are the Most Anticipated Movies of 2017? | Adweek

2016’s Memorable Campaigns

They may not have been the most successful at turning out the public, by my latest Adweek piece covers what I felt were the most memorable movie campaigns of 2016.

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.

Source: Superheroes, Models and Lobsters: The 10 Most Memorable Movie Campaigns of 2016 | Adweek

Going Deep on Rogue One’s Promotional Partnerss

If you enjoyed my full campaign review for Rogue One, I offer a bit more detail on the efforts of the movie’s promotional partners in my latest post for Adweek:

For the second time in as many years, a new Star Wars movie is hitting theaters. This time it’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is striving for a more awkward title than even the prequel trilogy accomplished. The movie’s story is … well … it’s basically the one told in the opening crawl of the original Star Wars, the one we all started calling Episode IV or “A New Hope” just in the last 15 years or so. The movie has received a big campaign, with a handful of trailers and plenty of TV spots that show Jyn and her multicultural crew, as well as Ben Mendelsohn as Orsen Kerrick, the Imperial officer they’re hoping to foil—and a few hints at involvement by Darth Vader himself. There have also been significant efforts from a core group of five companies who signed on as promotional partners and who have used the movie as a springboard for their own efforts. Let’s take a look at what they’ve been doing:

Source: How Star Wars’ 5 Biggest Brand Partners Activated Around Rogue One | Adweek

Tracking Miss Sloane Ticket Sales

My latest Adweek column reports on a partnership between EuropaCorp and two other companies to track how trailers and TV spots for Miss Sloane demonstrably resulted in ticket sales:

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.

Source: How the Studio Behind Miss Sloane Is Tracking the Link Between Ads and Ticket Sales | Adweek