Movie Marketing Madness: Angels and Airwaves: Love

Music and movies have always been connected. The earliest silent movies would often be shipped to theaters with sheet music for the organist to play that accompanied the action on-screen. As I write this column “From Here to Eternity” just happens to be playing on iTunes, Sinatra’s classic song from the film of the same name. It’s hard to imagine The Empire Strikes Back without “The Imperial March” setting the scene. And the bundling of 10 or 15 of today’s pop hits is usually just what’s needed to create a compelling soundtrack record (or at least it used to be), each song used to not only set the emotions of the scene (I’m looking at you, “Take My Breath Away”) but also hopefully promote the band or artist singing it.

Sometimes there’s a more direct connection, though.

The new movie Love has been, by all accounts, conceived and created by the members of the band Angels and Airwaves, which of course then has scored the film. Telling the story of an astronaut stranded alone on the International Space Station who slowly loses his grip on reality, the movie is as much about connecting visuals with music as with telling a story. It’s one of the more explicit cases of arts converging like this and so it’s interesting to see how the film is being marketed.

The Posters

The movie’s poster promises a very personal story on a very cosmic scale, showing an astronaut sitting on a sidewalk bench in the front while a photo of the sun coming up over the Earth is in the background. It’s pretty simple and is very reminiscent of Moon from 2009, but is still very cool and interesting.

The Trailers

We start off in the trailer by seeing an astronaut that’s being sent to an orbiting space station that’s been unoccupied for a while. But then he hears a strange message and things start to get weird. We then get scenes of lights all over the Earth going out and bombs exploding and we see he’s discovered a journal of some sort from the Civil War. At that point the lines between reality and imagination begin blurring as we’re not sure if what we’re watching is actually happening, is a flashback of some sort or is all in the main character’s head. The latter point is supported by the last line, from an unidentified woman, who asks if he minds that all of this isn’t real.

It’s strange and interesting and immediately, at least if you’re into this sort of movie to begin with, leaves you wanting more.

Online

There’s not much of anything on the official website for the movie, which is really just a landing page for the official website of the band. There are dates for the film’s screenings at the Santa Barbara Film Festival but that’s about it. Nothing is found there about the story or the actors or even the story behind why the movie got made or anything else.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing that I’ve been exposed to.

Media and Publicity

Not much since the movie seemed to appear out of nowhere just a few weeks ago in advance of its festival appearances. So reaction to the marketing materials has been the main source of conversation and buzz, but that’s almost universally been positive (especially in regards to the music) so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Overall

Well the first thing to note is that there’s not a whole lot going on in this campaign. There’s no advertising, almost no press and the bare minimum of formal marketing material, including a mention on the band’s website that feels like it’s there more out of obligation than anything else.

But the trailer and poster surely do make an impression and so there’s success to be found there. Both make it clear that this is somewhat of a trippy story that’s more about raw emotions than anything else. The music, then, helps sell that pretty well and, one could reasonably argue, that’s the main point of what’s going on here anyway.