You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tentpole Marketing Campaigns Focus on Concept Images Rather Than Stars

Marketing materials including teasers, one-sheets, posters don't play up highly paid cast

With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often.

Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design.

 

On early one-sheets for three of the studios’ biggest bets, the stars either weren’t recognizable or weren’t pictured at all. Universal took a similar approach with Tom Cruise starrer “Oblivion.”

The idea is to sell a film initially based on a concept, says Par domestic marketing and distrib prexy Megan Colligan.

“That indelible first-look image is important to establish a certain tone,” she says. “By the time we open the doors, there will be no question that Brad Pitt is the star of this movie. It’s more about being iconic.”

“World War Z” features a striking image of a helicopter being pulled down by zombies; “Lone Ranger” depicts a masked image of Depp, while “Elysium” shows only Damon’s back.

 

Overseas, however, marketing campaigns still rely heavily on star power. And while Warner Bros. has no major star wattage in “Pacific Rim,” the studio created country-specific posters that feature the film’s local alien-fighting robots.

“People love the personal relationships they can have with characters,” Colligan says. “In the end, audiences know how they relate.”

More Film

  • Dr. Dre and Marvin Gaye

    Dr. Dre Is Making a Movie About Marvin Gaye (EXCLUSIVE)

    With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often. Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design. SEE […]

  • Sam Mendes 1917

    Sam Mendes Sets WWI Movie '1917' as Next Directing Gig

    With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often. Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design. SEE […]

  • Michael Moses Dwight Caines

    Universal Marketing Overhaul: Michael Moses Promoted, Dwight Caines Hired

    With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often. Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design. SEE […]

  • TODD FISHER Bright Lights Producer

    Todd Fisher Opens Up About Deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

    With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often. Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design. SEE […]

  • Disney Pixar Bob Iger John Lasseter

    Is the Era of the Superstar Media Executive Over?

    With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often. Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design. SEE […]

  • Heather GrahamWomen in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail

    Heather Graham, Jodi Balfour to Star in Drama 'The Rest of Us'

    With marketing costs for summer tentpoles continuing to balloon, it seems like studios would want to push their expensive stars into filmgoers’ faces early and often. Instead, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Matt Damon are largely absent from the teasers for “World War Z”; “The Lone Ranger” and “Elysium” — and that’s by design. SEE […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content