Movie Marketing Madness: Children of Men

“In a world…” is the worst possible way to start off a trailer or, Heaven forbid, an actual movie. Maybe it was alright once, a long time ago, but that phrase has now become so cliched thanks to its use in so many spoofs and parodies of trailers and movies that it’s now meaningless.

But that’s exactly the premise behind Children of Men. The movie takes place in a not-too-distant future, 2027 to be exact, where some unknown cause has rendered women across the planet incapable of having babies. That, of course, means that the human race will cease to exist in a generation. The knowledge of impending doom and the corresponding governmental draconian policies have led to widespread terrorism in Great Britain, which views itself as the last standing democracy on the planet. Theo Faron is brought into a plan to save the species when his ex-wife, now an activist, shows him that her group is in possession of a miracle – a pregnant woman.

The film, by director Alfonso Cuaron and adapted (loosely, from all accounts) from the PD James novel, has been garnering some of the most universally positive reviews I’ve ever seen a film get. It’s skyrocketed to the top of a host of “Best of the Year” lists from major critics, which has brought what might have otherwise been a minor film some huge publicity. So much good press, in fact, that I think it’s largely overcome what I felt to be the biggest hurdle, the likely lack of distribution support. But let’s dive into the formal campaign.

The Poster

I really like how simple and effective this poster is. The text on the top half lays out the setting of the film perfectly and the image of a fetus at the bottom is so striking, playing into not only the plot of the film but the idea that all life is a miracle. Finally, the credits that it gives Cuaron, both his independent Y Tu Mama Tambien and the mainstream Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, makes him accessible to audiences both mainstream and discerning, no easy task. It’s so frakin’ awesome in its simplicity.

The Trailer

Everytime I watch this my jaw hits the floor. Everything about the movie is laid out here, the setting, the plot, the characters. It’s so visually arresting, with the wonderfully timed cuts it sucks me in every time. I can’t even figure out how to describe it. It’s awesome.

Online

The official website is loaded not only with good movie information but also with a ton of film clips that are accessible when you visit the various sections. Instead of boring you with my write-up of everything that’s on here I want you to spend that time going over and playing with the site. When I initially viewed the site I thought it was the best example I had seen of how to build a “sticky” site for a movie and I maintain that opinion now.

Overall

It might not seem like it with the short bit I’ve written here but I truly think this is one of the strongest campaigns to come out of a major studio in quite some time, specifically for a smaller film with little mainstream appeal. It’s that subtle, quite strength that really impresses me and makes me want to see this movie all the more. I simply don’t have much to add but

One thought on “Movie Marketing Madness: Children of Men

  1. I’m excited to see the movie (although more excited to see Y:The Last Man). I’d love to check out the site but it doesn’t seem to work on a Mac… bummer.

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