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Judging from the turnout in theaters and the ranking of box office hits in recent years, it’s safe to say that convincing the public to see your film would depend on how innovative your marketing strategies are. With the simultaneous release of upcoming films, it all comes down to who can make an impactful impression in the market. Movie marketing is not an easy task for any marketer, which is why it’s important to study and analyze how past films made movie history through their clever marketing campaigns.
Some of the most well-written or directed films to ever exist don’t get the recognition they deserve from audiences due to poor movie marketing. After all, it’s not about how much you’ve spent or how hard you’ve worked to bring a vision to life, as what matters most is your marketing power to get people to watch your film. If advertisers had a marketing checklist by their side, it would probably include: grabbing viewers’ attention, piquing their interest, and encouraging them to rush to the nearest theater to watch your film.
Listed below are examples of some of the most effectively marketed films in movie history:
Ryan Reynolds is one of those actors that everyone likes, whether it’s onscreen or off, thanks to his charming looks and witty personality. So casting him as a comical (and rather raunchy) superhero was certainly a no-brainer.
As if having one of Hollywood’s most elite actors play an iconic character wasn’t enough, the film’s marketing department certainly went the extra mile with their promotional efforts. Ever seen the film’s humorous billboard ad featuring a poop emoji? Or how about that viral video of Deadpool going trick-or-treating with a bunch of kids on Halloween? These audacious yet smart marketing campaigns helped Deadpool rank in an estimated $782.6 million worldwide, more than any other R-rated film in history. You may also see marketing reports.
The Secret Life of Pets is almost every pet lovers fantasy, where animals are seen living a secret life of their own when their ‘hoomans’ are away. But instead of focusing on just families, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment created marketing campaigns that targeted animal lovers of any age. It was a bit of a challenge to break through some boundaries in the industry, especially in a diverse field of successful animated films about animals, such as Finding Dory and Zootopia. The cross-promotional strategy of the film made use of various platforms and channels, from Facebook marketing to a notable partnership with one of the world’s biggest pet stores, PetSmart.
As a result, this animal tale grossed more than $858 million in the box office.
DC and Marvel may be neck and neck in the comic book turned movie franchise of the superhero universe, but Marvel’s The Avengers definitely takes home the crown after becoming the highest-grossing superhero film of all time, earning an estimated $207,438,708 during opening weekend alone. You may also see marketing checklists.
Seeing Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye come together for 2012’s The Avengers brought comic book lovers from across the globe to the edge of their seats. It was the driving force for the Marvel Universe, serving as a platform for multiple crossovers and special cameos from other well-known superheros. From collectible items to limited edition Lego sets, Halloween costumes to action figures, the film series continues to make box office history through the help of its eye-catching marketing materials and unforgettable promotional stunts. You may also see brand marketing.
Although filmmaker James Cameron’s epic film Avatar generated mixed reviews from critics and audiences upon its release, it’s hard to ignore the film’s $2.788 billion earnings in the box office thanks to its effective promotional strategies. You may also see marketing styles.
While most studios would tease movie-goers with a few trailers and snippets of a film approximately a year before its release, James Cameron took a different approach with his upcoming masterpiece by dropping a few hints just months before Avatar‘s debut. While many would argue that this move was too risky for any other studio to even dare trying, the mystery surrounding the film created a level of anticipation that helped it gain worldwide popularity. It was one of the first films to ever make 3D and IMAX history due to its captivating visuals and must-see effects. You may also see marketing questionnaire examples.
Avatar went on to launching a couple of books, video games, action figures, and postage stamps following its release in 2009.
Paranormal Activity is just one of many realistic horror films that has left audiences wondering, “Is it real?”
The ‘found footage’ genre features TV shows and films with shaky camera effects, everyday dialogues, and otherwise unknown actors and actresses. Paranormal Activity made its way to the limelight by putting itself out there through the undeniable power of the internet and a few hidden camera footage. Not only did the film’s marketing team scare the public with its hair-raising clips, but they also made sure audiences stayed engaged through a campaign with Eventful.com. Here, they started a poll on whether or not people wanted the film to show in theaters near them. The film created a huge buzz online and in the movie world, making it the most profitable film in terms of return on investment. You may also see marketing styles.
With a total of six films of the series released as of 2015, there’s no doubt Paranormal Activity has successfully won the hearts of audiences with its remarkable marketing strategies.
Before Paranormal Activity even made its way to the drawing board, The Blair Witch Project was under everyone’s radar as one of the most outstanding horror films of all time.
It all started when three filmmakers supposedly disappeared in the outskirts of Burkittsville, Maryland. The film consisted of a series of lost footage that went on to becoming one of the most influential horror and independent films of the modern era. The marketing stunts of the film were so believable that a good portion of society actually thought the film was based on real events. From a missing persons poster to a made-up documentary that centered on the mystery of the characters’ disappearances, the film’s marketing campaign was filled with faux reality stunts and convincing mysteries which generated enough attention to change the movie marketing game forever. You may also see marketing flow charts.
Considering how horror films with shaky camera effects became a norm in the movie industry, not a lot of people knew what to expect when a film featuring random home made clips and a blood-curdling monster hit the big screen.
Apart from a chilling movie poster and trailer, the film’s marketing team launched 1-18-08.com that gave audiences a glimpse of the movie’s signature plot and the supposed origin of the monstrous mystery. But instead of focusing on the characters of Cloverfield, the attention was put on the actual monster that reigned over New York City. This soon raised expectations surrounding the monster, and not on who the characters were and what their fate would be in the film. You may also see marketing plan.
With the worldwide success of its first film, Universal Studios needed to pull all the strings to make Pitch Perfect 2 an international blockbuster as well.
To make sure the film captured the attention of its target market, Universal Studios launched various content marketing and social media marketing campaigns across various social platforms, such as Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. This worked out brilliantly for their marketing team, considering how the sequel of the franchise made $287.5 million in box office earnings. Talk about aca-awesome!
So maybe The Interview isn’t the best comedic film to ever hit the big screen, but the amount of publicity it gained is certainly every marketer’s dream. But who knew an action comedy film would cause an international uproar between two nations?
It was obvious that this infamous film was a dig at North Korea and its notorious leader Kim Jong-un, but nobody ever expected the North Koreans to react the way they did. Not only did the individuals responsible in the making of the film receive public threats from the North Korean government and some netizens, but the producers of the film were also victimized by online hackers. Because of this, in November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment (which was the parent company of the film’s production studio, Columbia Pictures) decided to cancel the film’s worldwide release to avoid further political issues from arising. You may also see marketing goals.
While all this attention may not have brought in big bucks for the film’s production studio and team, its impressive marketing outcomes surely left a mark in our history. You may also see marketing checklists.
So maybe Suicide Squad is the perfect epitome of ‘expectations vs. reality’ after the film became the subject of so much backlash and poor reviews from film critics and movie-goers alike. Despite leaving a majority of its viewers disappointed, the film still managed to gross over $744 million worldwide. So, what’s their secret?
If anything, the film’s marketing team had nothing but killer advertising ideas that kept the public intrigued. Apart from an extraordinary playlist featuring artists like Brendon Urie and Eminem, the film also had the one of the most exciting trailers along with an all-star cast to back it up. From Jared Leto as the Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and even Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Suicide Squad’s steamy ensemble quickly became the talk of the town for months leading up to the film’s worldwide release. You may also see marketing presentations.
What’s the best way to spark curiosity among potential movie-goers?
You create a hype. It needs to be smart, discrete, and incredibly mysterious enough to draw in attention.
Other than video marketing and digital marketing, some of the most successful movie marketing campaigns come from fresh and creative ideas that leave a lot to the imagination. If you want news surrounding your film to make its way through different media platforms, then you need to give people something to talk about. Some marketers upload images and clips from the film’s shoot online to build a level of excitement, while others build controversies and scandals over the film or its characters to keep themselves on the front page of every headline. Keep in mind that publicity is publicity, whether it’s good or bad.
But if you’d rather take a simple approach to movie marketing, all you’ll ever need is a good set of compelling visuals to keep audiences engaged. It doesn’t have to be anything too extreme, nor does it need to cost much, as a good marketing strategy comes from your ability to create a personal connection with your prospects. From maximizing niche social networks to using celebrity marketing to influence public views, anything is possible if you know how to make relatable and relevant content for your viewers.
Marketing films is not rocket science, but it’s not the easiest job either. These days, it’s all about turning a simple approach into a viral hit through various forms of media. With so many movies breaking box office records, studios are under a lot of pressure in terms of breaking barriers with the help of good movie marketing. So whether you’re in the movie business or not, always remember to be bold and creative with your marketing decisions to ensure success. You may also see marketing examples.