Courting bloggers with early visits to a film’s set may have become de rigueur these days, but it’s just one of the myriad ways marketing mavens are putting a new spin on old promo methods.
REACH OUT TO NONPROFITS
HOW: The leaders of nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations are enlisted to make their members aware of a film that jibes with their group’s mission. It allows them to be affiliated with a movie that furthers their cause while generating positive word of mouth for the film.
FILMS: Participant has an entire department dedicated to outreach, and has engaged nonprofits on films such as “An Inconvenient Truth,” “The Kite Runner” and “The Visitor.”
MAKE ONLINE FRIENDS
HOW: A distrib sets up a profile on sites like MySpace, Facebook or Bebo and rewards “friends” who sign up with updates on the film’s release, information on the production, videos and other content. Those friends then tell their other friends to go see the movie. At least, that’s the goal.
FILMS: Because it takes only a few clicks of a button, every distrib’s going the social networking route.
POST A SOUNDTRACK
HOW: A distributor digitally posts a film’s soundtrack for download on iTunes or other online music service, or has its filmmakers and talent compile their favorite playlists.
FILMS: The quirky soundtrack for “Juno” became so popular on Apple’s iTunes that Fox Searchlight released a follow-up that was available on the music service only. The tracks lured potential audiences to buy movie tickets.
CREATE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL
HOW: A distrib can create a special channel for video content on YouTube in the name of a film, showing trailers, extended clips, even interviews with filmmakers and talent. But the channel still must be tubthumped, or it could get lost among the millions of videos on the site.
FILMS: United Artists generated some heat around “Lions for Lambs” with an online channel and offered a contest that encouraged people to record and upload a 90-second video of themselves talking about the social issue they care about.
ROPE IN PROMO PARTERS
HOW: A promotional pact is inked with a major retailer or consumer brand that puts ads for the films in front of audiences a distrib might not have been able to buy its way into. Extra marketing muscle is added to the pic’s ad dollars.
FILMS: Picturehouse’s soccer drama “Gracie” was touted on Gatorade packaging and in grocery stores, while “The Women” will be backed by a major push by Unilever’s Dove brand and “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” had a built-in partner. Starbucks promoted Paramount Vantage’s “Arctic Tale” in its venues, and Samsung pushed “Into the Wild” in a range of ads.