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 some great pieces of movie marketing from this past week, May 16-22.
X-Men: Apocalypse (20th Century Fox)
With the first three comic book movies out of the way in Deadpool, [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), and [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409), it's been [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267)'s turn to step up to the marketing plate. With just a few days left before the film's release, the campaign has been pulling out all the stops. Along with the usual barrage of last-minute TV spots and exclusive magazine covers, the campaign released a bit of promo that was truly clever and cute.
In an ad for Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, the campaign went full retro in keeping with the time period of the film and declared Professor X's school now open and enrolling for summer classes. The spot was great, being designed to look exactly like an infomercial from the '80s, right down to the flip transitions with cheesy synthesizer sound effects.
It was a clever bit of promo that puts the focus squarely on the youngsters of Apocalypse, as their story is the one that's the great unknown to audiences. Plus, it gets back to the core of every X-Man's struggle: surviving as a mutant when the world doesn't understand you and even fears you. With the trailers and TV spots having been big, clangy, CGI-heavy spectacle pieces, it's a nice return to the simplicity at the heart of the X-Men story.
X-Men: Apocalypse is in theaters on Friday, May 27th.
Alice Through the Looking Glass (Walt Disney Pictures)
The aesthetic for Walt Disney Pictures' Alice series has always been visually stunning, over-saturated and eye-popping. It's meant to draw audiences into another world, full of swirling colors and fantasy. To that end, the latest bit of marketing that Disney has done for the picture has brought fans even closer into that alternate reality.
During a one-day event in Disneyland, parkgoers were entertained by a digital billboard of the most interactive sort with help from lead actor Johnny Depp and branded content company Denizen. The posters appeared to be simple animated posters at first, but unknown to guests in attendance, Depp was hidden at a studio offsite. Dressed as his character, the Mad Hatter, Depp was streamed live into the posters where he could interact in real time with guests.
It was a clever, whimsical way to draw guests into the world of [Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass](tag:780359), helping to build the weird, wacky world of the film. It doesn't hurt that the promo stunt utilized one of the most well-recognized actors in the planet, as well as Disney's golden goose. Because, let's be honest - though Mia Wasikowska is delightful as Alice, she's not the draw that Depp is. Putting him front in center of an interactive marketing campaign is a sure-fire way to delight fans and make them feel as if they're helping to build the world of Wonderland.
Alice Through the Looking Glass is in theaters on Friday, May 27th.