Although film fans still have the holiday movie season to anticipate, the year has already given many examples of how marketers have been able to tap into what resonates with audiences across the world before a movie even hits the theaters. Keep reading to learn more about some of the standout movie promo efforts of 2014 so far.
The marketing team behind Godzilla seemed to clearly understand how to tap into a rich fan base when it chose to unveil teaser trailer footage at Comic-Con events. The movie’s Twitter account also offered bits of insight about a mysterious fictional organization called M.U.T.O., but just enough to spark curiosity about how that group might tie into the movie without giving clear-cut answers. The smart combination of first showing the trailer to fans who would be likely to embrace the film, plus promoting an air of mystery on social media, caused a good box office draw.
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The Fault in Our Stars
Film marketers won over the hearts of fans in this case by making them feel involved with the film. Because the movie was a young-adult novel first, fans around the world felt protective of the integrity of the story, and wanted it to translate well to the big screen. In addition to viewing a trailer, fans got social media overload via Instagram photos, Twitter posts and other glimpses of the movie taking shape. The film not only performed strongly in theaters, but it was also well received by fans.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This case study proves how a less-is-more approach can work well, especially if trailers are shown to receptive audiences. The marketing campaign for this film probably wouldn’t come to mind as one that was constantly across your social media feeds and television screens, but it took off at the right time, and people flocked to the theaters to see the film. Paramount decided to debut the trailer in March prior to the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” film, and that move nearly guaranteed getting an appreciative audience. Newer trailers steadily gave fans more peeks at what was to come, and the fan base responded by spending their dollars at the box office.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
If you’ve ever purchased a DVD that has hidden Easter eggs for dedicated fans, one trailer for this film was made with you in mind. It features a billboard with a working phone number you can call. This is a great example of marketing with your audience in mind. While some Constructicon fans might wish to see more of their favorite characters in these movies (especially with the variety of construction equipment available to the film’s creators), the Transformers movies have, overall, done a very good job of luring both old and new fans into movie theaters across the country.
Boasting Scarlett Johansson in the title role, this movie told the tale of a woman who could use 100 percent of her brain, in contrast to the average human that only uses 10 percent. The marketing campaign was very pointed, offering enough information to create curiosity but not overwhelm. As a result, the movie did very well at the box office, although it wasn’t initially tapped to be a particular success in terms of grosses.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Superhero movies are known to do well when it comes to luring movie lovers to theaters, but the distinction about this film is it deals with little-known superheroes instead of the ones almost everyone’s familiar with. To get people excited, marketers focused on the drawing power of the Marvel brand name, but didn’t shy away from the perceived oddities of the characters in the film. The cast included a tree and a raccoon, and trailers took a lighthearted but engaging approach to introducing them enough so moviegoers would want to know more, and respond by purchasing tickets for the film.
This list gives some great examples of how a little creativity in the marketing department can go a long way both in terms of creating a buzz and making it last through a film’s debut.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll have the luxury of marketing the next big sci-fi or action movie, you can take a little bit of inspiration from these awesome trailers into your next marketing campaign.
The 6 Best Movie Marketing Campaigns of 2014