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, March 27-April 2.
Hardcore Henry (STX Entertainment)
STX Entertainment is one of the newest studios in the Hollywood game, and already, it's been making some interesting choices in terms of the movies it produces and distributes. Next on that list of experimental offerings is Hardcore Henry, which has had a rather unprecedented marketing campaign.
The movie is the first-ever feature-length GoPro POV film, designed to look like a first-person shooter. Fittingly, the marketing has gone all-in on reaching out to gamers, even debuting the trailer on Twitch, the live-streaming videogame platform and gaming community, the first time a trailer has debuted exclusively on that platform. The trailer's release was a legitimate event on Twitch, with a two-hour special that aired on popular Twitch streamer summit1g's channel. Much like we've seen with other events bringing YouTube stars together, he was joined by other popular Twitch users, Force, Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico, and Ms. Vixen during the broadcast.
More recently, the movie partnered up with game developer, Starbreeze, for a special promotion before the movie's release that aims to tie the film even more firmly to the gaming community. The developer took lead Sharlto Copley's character, Jimmy, and incorporated him into their Payday 2 video game as one of its playable heister characters. Two separate heists for his character that related to the movie were made available on March 31st: Hardcore: The Boiling Point Heist and Hardcore: The Murky Station Heist.
It's an interesting angle and the first time that a studio has gone all-in on aiming its marketing specifically at the gamer demographic. Other video game-based films, such as this summer's upcoming Warcraft and this fall's Assassin's Creed, have had a broader reach, hoping to appeal to a larger audience. But with Hardcore Henry being such a niche film done on a shoestring budget, it's enabled the marketing to be as experimental as the film itself.
Hardcore Henry is in theaters on Friday, April 8th.
Everybody Wants Some (Paramount Pictures)
Richard Linklater's latest film, Everybody Wants Some, has been relatively low-key in its marketing approach, as is fitting for a movie that was on an initial limited release. This weekend finds it expanding to a few more theaters, so while I'm not going to dive into the entire marketing campaign, I wanted to highlight a cool tie-in promotion that the film ran in Austin.
The film itself has been touted as a spiritual sequel to cult classic Dazed and Confused, but set a decade later in the 70s. To that end, the trailers and TV spots have framed it as being a raucous good time, focusing on the party atmosphere of the guys and the shenanigans in which they find themselves.
So it was a nifty bit of promo that Austin's Alamo Drafthouse and Austin Beerworks teamed up to create a limited edition beer with the film's branding on prominent display. The beer is available in local Austin stores and certain Alamo Drafthouse theaters throughout Texas in an old-school tallboy can, another nice, vintage touch and nod to the '80s. All in all, the nostalgic feel that's been created by the tie-in promotion and the promotional material hearkens back to an easier, gentler time, and hopefully it's a time that audiences will want to revisit.
Everybody Wants Some is currently in select theaters and expands on Friday, April 8th.