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, February 21-27.
London Has Fallen (Focus Features)
While movie audiences have always embraced the "one man against impossible odds" trope, recent years have found disaster flicks getting a bump. As long as the lead actor is somewhat likable and the action is tight, a disaster-action flick can be made for a relatively low budget to solid box office returns.
And it's been made clear with the marketing of [London Has Fallen](tag:1159657) that it's the destruction and devastation that will be the focus of the film, as it's been front and center of all the marketing material. The iconic locations of London have been the true stars of the promotional campaign, though the cast boasts some genuine heavy hitters. Visually, it's nifty. There's something visceral and gripping about seeing Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Parliament in flames.
Focus isn't catering to a high-minded audience here, and that's fine. It's giving audiences exactly what they want, and what they want is jaw-dropping destruction, this time in London, and some high-octane action sequences. As the TV spot above boasts, "shit's about to get stabby." The campaign has been simple and to the point: there will be violence, destruction, and lots and lots of ass-kicking. It's a formula that worked for the first film in the series, Olympus Has Fallen, and it should also work for the sequel.
London Has Fallen is in theaters on Friday, March 4th.
Zootopia (Walt Disney Studios)
Millennials are the age group that every marketing agency covets. To that end, while the films from Disney's Pixar division have the cool built right into them and appeal to all ages, Disney's independent animated films have been somewhat maligned as being solely for children. With [Zootopia](tag:1454243), Disney has looked to break free from that image and its marketing campaign has reflected this.
The campaign has aimed directly at social media savvy millennnials, most notably with promotional pieces that are heavy on the parody and skewer current pop culture trends, particularly on social media. First, they rolled out a series of parody posters for the film, mimicking the posters of other culturally-relevant movies that included Jurassic World, Straight Outta Compton, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina, and Cinderella. More recently, it released more posters parodying a handful of Oscar-nominated films.
But the parodies haven't just included posters. The campaign has also created parody mash-up videos of millennial-range TV shows, including Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments and Pretty Little Liars, among others. What's interesting is that these parody videos have focused on parodying series that are geared toward younger females, which shows just which demographic Disney is hoping to entice.
However, the marketing campaign also enlisted the help of Vine star Zach King, parodying his "Jail Escape" Vine video for the campaign.
Whether or not this will all translate into snaring a wider audience of millennials remains to be seen. But the marketing team deserves a tip of the hat for trying something creative with its campaign as it could very well shift the perception of Disney animation as being something solely for kids to films that appeal to millennials, too.
Zootopia is in theaters on Friday, March 4th.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Paramount)
It's rare to find films aimed at an older female demographic these days, just as it's rare to find a film that truly relies solely on the star power of its lead, but Paramount's [Whiskey Tango Foxtrot](tag:3727688) is not only one, but both of these things.
With the marketing campaign, Paramount is clearly counting on the fact that Tina Fey has a built-in audience, and that her brand and familiar humor are guaranteed to lure audiences into the theater. It's not an outlandish expectation: Fey's Sisters, which also starred her regular comedic partner Amy Poehler, grossed a solid $86 million domestic total on a $13 million budget, even opening opposite Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
This is Fey's vehicle and hers alone. The film rests entirely on her shoulders, and the marketing campaign has showcased her comedic timing. Fey is known for her dry, awkward humor and the fish-out-of-water storyline of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot plays perfectly to her strengths. So far, it seems they'v been right to bank on the viability of Tina Fey as a box office draw. The reviews are coming in and have all been largely positive, which should give the film a solid opening weekend at the box office.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is in theaters on Friday, March 4th.