Welcome to Moviepilot's Marketing Spotlight, our weekly look at which marketing campaigns are doing it right. In the world of entertainment, the marketing of a movie or TV series can be as important as the production itself. A good promo campaign can mean the difference between a hit and a flop, but a putting together a smart campaign is harder than it looks.
Here are the great pieces of marketing from this past week, January 3-9.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Paramount)
With [13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi](tag:3717031), director Michael Bay, and, by extension, Paramount Studios, is jumping into the based-on-a-true-military-story genre. It's a genre that has been notoriously successful with a particular demographic, and particularly with a holiday/post-holiday release date. One need look no further than last year's American Sniper for proof enough of that.
To that end, the marketing campaign for 13 Hours has been straightforward and unapologetic, following the same formula that worked for American Sniper, minus the Oscar buzz: Cater to the patriotic, the conservative, and the military buffs. It's also not toning down the fact that it's based on the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, a fact that may lure curious audiencegoers to the movie in light of the fact that Hilary Clinton is currently still dodging allegations while on the Presidential candidate campaign that she mishandled that very crisis.
Plus, the promo campaign has made a point to put everyman John Krasinski front and center, which is savvy, as it's a band-of-brothers tale of courage and bravery that will play well to an audience looking for an inspiring movie as we head into the doldrums of the post-holiday slump.
13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi will be in theaters on January 15th.
The 5th Wave (Sony Pictures)
On the other end of the spectrum from 13 Hours is Sony Pictures' The 5th Wave. Where the former is targeting a very specific demographic, 5th Wave has aimed at a broader audience, and the promo campaign has reflected that. The hope is that, with the Hunger Games franchise now being done and dusted, The 5th Wave can take its place as the new powerhouse young adult franchise that appeals to males and females both.
The marketing campaign has very much played this up, less hoping that it will be the next big thing, and more telling audiences that it will be, creating its own buzz. Much like that for Hunger Games, has not shied away from introducing some very stark concepts to a young adult audience - there will be death, and a lot of it. It's a smart move to not pull any punches right up front; young moviegoers now are smarter and savvier than they have ever been, and they respond to films that don't treat them with kid gloves.
Lead Chloe Grace Moretz has been almost singularly the focus of the promo material and marketing campaign, with the other supporting cast members getting very little time in the spotlight. And that's not a bad thing - with her most well-known role to date being that of Hit-Girl in the Kick-Ass franchise, she has the sort of brand association that appeals to both young males and females. Whether it has the might to beat out its competitors remains to be seen, but it is shaping up to be the sort of smart, entertaining film that could very well ride the wave of sci-fi success this past year into a modest box office success.
The 5th Wave is in theaters on January 22nd.