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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

2016 Holiday Movie Preview

My latest Adweek column takes a broad look at the metric ton of movies coming out in the last month of 2016, from small indie dramas to…well…Star Wars.

Yeah, it’s a stressful time of year. Many of us are dealing with extended family more than we do any other time of year, and so are looking for moments of respite and escape. We might disappear into our phones, we might hide a small bottle of wine in the linen closet, or we might drive to Target and just sit in the parking lot for a sec. Hollywood is, of course, hoping we got to the movies. To that end, it’s put together a December release slate that mixes in a little bit of everything, from family-friendly comedies to big-budget blockbusters to prestige dramas vying for awards consideration.

Source: Holiday Movies 2016: All The Films to See This Month, and How They’re Being Marketed | Adweek

Bad Santa 2’s Raunchy Photo Campaign

My second post this week on Adweek covers a specific component of the Bad Santa 2 campaign:

Now, 13 years later, Willie and his compatriot Marcus (Tony Cox) are back for more Christmas thievery, this time including Willie’s mother, played by Kathy Bates. Instead of a department store (possibly a reflection of how the retail landscape is no longer the golden goose it was over a decade ago), the crooks have their eye set on a charity in Chicago, though all the characters are still as loathsome as they were when we first met them.

To bring Bad Santa back with a bang, Broad Green Pictures partnered with Kvell, a creative studio based in Santa Monica, Calif. The studio was given the brief to create a campaign that was “as vulgar as possible,” according to Kvell co-founder Adam Rosenberg. That’s in keeping with the overall gist of the story, which involves as much cursing, sexual content and generally hateful, selfish, misanthropic behavior as you can imagine.

Source: How Bad Santa 2 Is Using Artists to Make, and Share, Its Comically Dirty Ad Campaign | Adweek

Fantastic Franchise Marketing Tactics

My latest at Adweek is tied to last week’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an expansion of the Harry Potter world, one that acts as a prequel to the book and film franchise we already know and mostly love, though we should talk about Chamber of Secrets at some point. More pragmatically, it’s an opportunity for Warner Bros. to keep selling us movies based on J.K. Rowling’s work now that the Potter books that served as the source material are done.

One of the key persistent components of the Fantastic Beasts marketing campaign has been its frequent intonation of this being “From J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World,” an attempt to draw the connection between this movie and those that have come before it. Without any characters carrying over from the previous stories, there needed to be some brand continuity, and the “Wizarding World” phrasing not only brings connotations of the earlier movies but also ties in nicely with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal Studios.

Source: 3 Ways That Spin-Offs of Movie Franchises Have Been Marketed to the Audience | Adweek

For Election Day, Some Political Movie Trailers

My latest, election-themed post on Adweek is now live.

Today, the American people go to the polls—at least, those who haven’t already taken advantage of early voting—to vote for president and a host of other national, state and local leaders. This year’s election cycle, which has been going on approximately forever, has been particularly contentious, as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have attacked each other in what has sometimes been reminiscent of The Batley Townswomens’ Guild re-enacting the Battle of Pearl Harbor.

To take our minds off the horrific and caustic nature of this year’s political environment, we’re looking today at the trailers for a number of fictional presentations of American electioneering. Some of these are straight-up satire, some are upbeat comedies, some are more dramatic. But considering not a single one involves discussion of email servers or the word “bigly,” they’re all, by default, more enjoyable than what we’ve been going through.

Source: 6 Great Political Movies That Will Get You Psyched for Election Day | Adweek