Quora Answers Marketer’s Questions

Quora has been the belle of the social media ball for a while now, attracting the attention of early adopters and quickly turning into an outlet for people to share their expertise. As noted in a recent Wired story on the company much of that early audience has been in the tech start-up and social media circles where the service itself lives, though strides have been taken to expand the audience.

Now it’s looking to expand even further by dropping – or at least significantly lowering – the barriers it had in place to corporate participation in answering questions left by individuals.

The change coincidentally comes at the same time my own thinking about Quora and its potential usage has begun to come around. At first I pretty firmly dismissed it as a tool for little else than polishing one’s own ego and “personal brand” but have begun to think of it as a potentially valuable tool for directly answering questions on the same platform that they’re asked.

And that’s kind of the key detail. As I said on Twitter a while ago, if the presence of Quora or other platforms that are just about the question/answer interplay is the first time you’re considering responding to the audience then you kind of need to take your online communications program back down to the studs and rethink things. That should always be an element, which is why the term “participation” is used so often.

The more welcome attitude Quora now has toward corporate participation means a whole new field of legitimate subject matter experts can now weigh in without their responses potentially being flagged.

Of course it also means the potential for spammy, content farm-esque material to be posted has risen significantly. So it’s on the Quora community to police what’s posted and throw flags when necessary.

There are still problems I have with how Quora is setup that keeps me from being 100% sold on integrating it into programs – the biggest being the ability of someone else to edit a response – but as I said my thinking is coming around and have put it back on my radar as something to keep in mind for the future.

Movie Marketing Madness: Midnight in Paris

When someone begins acting strangely out of character it’s easy to suspect the worst. Certainly in the movies anytime someone starts going out in the evenings with some vague explanation of where they’re heading the spouse or significant other will begin to suspect that person is having an affair or engaging in some sort of shady activity. About half the time, then, the eventual explanation is that they’re taking acting classes, are taking classes to convert to their loved one’s religion or is some sort of other wonderful surprise. The other half of the time Sonny comes and beats the snot out of them for treating his sister like garbage.

The new movie from acclaimed filmmaker Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris, is about how some unexplained outings begin to come between an engaged couple. Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) are accompanying her parents on a trip to Paris. While there they run into some casual acquaintances, including Paul (Michael Sheen) that Gil’s not to keen on spending time with. So he goes off walking through the city at night, only to happen upon a magical part of the city that transports him back in time to the era of flappers and underground jazz clubs, something he enjoys so much he begins to focus on visiting it – specifically the lovely Adrienne (Marion Cotillard) – even during the day.

The Posters

The first poster for the movie was pretty simple but suitably artistic, showing Vaughn walking along a Parisian river. But the image behind him wasn’t just a photo of the city but was instead a slightly modified version of Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night.” You know the one. You or your roommate probably had it hanging in your dorm room. So it’s goal is seemingly to establish both the location and the idea of Vaughn’s character as some sort of lone artistic wolf, which it does pretty well.

The Trailers

The movie’s trailer starts out by introducing us to both the main characters and the setting. We see Wilson and McAdams strolling through Paris, which they’re visiting with her parents. They run into another couple they know, people she likes but which he can’t stand. So he decides to take his own little constitutionals at night and discovers a whole other side of Paris filled with dancing, music and unbridled romance. He seems to become intrigued with one young woman and soon begins sneaking off on his own every night to revisit this other world, soon raising the suspicions of his fiancee and future in-laws.

It’s unmistakably Allen on display here, something that’s apparent in the rhythms of the dialogue and even the theme of being completely in love with a city, something he revisits often in his movies. The combination of Wilson and McAdams seems interesting and for fans of the writer/director this will probably remind them of some of his earlier works, just transplanted to Paris.

Online

The official website starts playing the trailer after it loads and you can close it and then enter the site proper.

The “Synopsis” that’s up first just has a brief one-paragraph write-up of the story. If you want more information the notes in the “Production” section give much more background into that story and all the players and characters in it.

Both “The Cast” and “Fllmmakers” sections give backgrounds and varying levels of histories about the folks involved in the making of the movie.

“The Trailer” has the trailer, of course, and the “Gallery” has 15 stills from the movie.

The “Reviews” section is still blank despite there already being some reviews that have been posted while “Links” has links to the IMDb profiles of the talent involved.

The movie’s Facebook page has updates on new marketing materials, cast publicity, photos and videos and more.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

I think there may have been a bit of online advertising done but that’s about it. I didn’t see nor have I heard of any TV spots being run or anything else along these lines.

Media and Publicity

The first bit of publicity and news for the movie came when it was announced that Sony Classics had picked up distribution for the movie. Shortly after that the movie was slated to make its debut at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival (Hollywood Reporter, 2/2/11) where it would open the festival as a first-ever screening for both professionals and the public and where it would be greeted with pretty favorable reactions as some people hailed it as his most assured and fully-featured movie in a decade or more.

There were also features on Wilson and how this role allowed him to stretch a bit (USA Today, 5/16/11) at the behest of Allen. There were surprisingly few career reassessments of Allen himself, though, despite this usually being a staple of the press since it’s easy to dig up whatever someone wrote last year and just update it with the new movie’s title.

Overall

The campaigns for Woody Allen’s movies tend to not work too hard, kind of like the movies themselves. They’re made primarily for fans of his previous movies and film critics, with any additional folks more or less a bonus.

That being said there’s a lot to like here. The poster is quite attractive and the trailer shows a nice, bubbly and entertaining movie here that should bring in some people who are fans of either Wilson or McAdams and romantic comedies in general. It’s funny and interesting while not betraying too much of the movie’s actual plot.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

  • 07/07/11 – Patrick Goldstein at the LAT looks at some specifics about how the studio appealed to mainstream moviegoers to build some anticipation outside of Allen’s usual audiences.

Movie Marketing Madness: Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides

We do love a good anti-hero these days, don’t we? Back in the 70’s and 80’s audiences flocked to screen stories of lone heroes who defied procedure and all common sense to protect the streets of their city, defend a tower full of people from exceptional thieves or otherwise Do What Needed To Be Done regardless of the dangers to their own persons or the advice that more reasonable people were giving them to stop trying.

But somewhere in the early 90’s a trend started that continues to this day of heroes who are more conflicted or who at least don’t have the clear moral compass that their predecessors did. Some of those seemed to be doing what was right only accidentally or coincidentally because it matched up at the moment with their own selfish motives.

For the last several years audiences have been enjoying the anti-heroism of Captain Jack Sparrow and now he’s back in the new movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The fourth entry in the popular franchise isn’t so much a reboot of the series as it is a fresh start. While many of the characters from the first three movies are back gone are Elizabeth and Will and with them much of the convoluted plot that dominated the second and third movies. Instead we get here a much more straightforward story about Jack trying to find the Fountain of Youth at the behest of Angelica (Penelope Cruz), a quest that finds him crossing paths with Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and a whole host of new dangers that he will work to either charm his way out of or run away from.

The Posters

The first teaser poster for the movie followed the same pattern that had been laid out with the previous movies by showing a skull adorned with pirate decorations, with various things hanging off the bandanna that’s wrapped around the forehead and decorations in its long beard as well as two swords crossed in back of it.

Again, this is similar to the teaser posters for the first and second movies in the series, each of which had the same sort of pirate skull, though the one-sheet for Curse of the Black Pearl featured a less ordained skull and the one for Dead Man’s Chest had torches and not swords in the background. So, with the exception of At World’s End (which deviated from the previous branding throughout its poster campaign) it’s a nice continuation of the way the audience has been first introduced to the previous films.

Character posters were shortly thereafter released that featured up-close images of Captain Jack, Angelica, Blackbeard and Barbossa. Even the mermaids got their own one-sheet.

The next and final poster, a theatrical version, put Depp front and center on the one-sheet as he’s positioned standing in front of mermaids, burning pirate ships and more. This one is apparently designed to position Jack Sparrow as more of a hero instead of a conniving pirate since he looks like he’s readying to valiantly take on half the fleet, something that’s a bit unusual since the character is often more ready to hide behind something solid until he’s forced by circumstances to come out.

The Trailers

The first trailer sets up the basic outlines of the plot, that the pirates are now looking for the Fountain of Youth. That quest is at the instigation of the British monarchy

Honestly there’s so much going on here in an effort to convey the film’s scope it’s hard to keep up. We see Barbosa is now working for the British Navy. We meet Blackbeard, the most feared of all pirates. We meet Blackbeard’s daughter, who has a romantic history with Jack. We see Jack’s father make a brief return. We’re told – and we later see – there will be mermaids and zombies in-between the characters and their goal.

There are also plenty of shots of Captain Jack’s signature wit, which is the real drawing point of these movies even more than the spectacle of the adventures. So for a first effort this is a tight and yet sprawling spot that tells the audience there’s plenty of both new and familiar material for them to enjoy.

The second trailer is much more interested in setting up the stakes that are in play in the story. We’re quickly introduced to the fact that Jack and his band of cohorts are in pursuit of the fountain of youth, that he’s been conscripted by the British government in some regard and that Blackbeard is currently in possession of the Black Pearl, something that doesn’t sit well with either Jack or Barbossa. So the group sets out to find it, a task that in some manner involves a mermaid, which are beautiful but also apparently deadly.

We get glimpses of all the main returning characters as well as plenty of McShane as Blackbeard and a brief look at Keith Richards, who returns as Jack’s father. It’s a much better trailer overall than the first one, probably because it’s less about selling the audience on just having a rollicking good time and more on actually presenting the movie’s plot. There are some funny moments that are patched together by taking unrelated dialogue and making it seem like one’s a reaction to the other but that’s common and this is still a tight and amusing trailer.

Online

After the skull finishes burning as the official website loads it gives way to one of the trailers and after that’s done there’s a bit more loading that needs to happen.

The first section of content is “About” and that’s where you’ll be able to read a Story synopsis that lets you know we’ll be encountering characters both new and old on this particular adventure.

“Videos” is up next and is especially well stocked, with trailers, TV spots, extended film clips and exclusive video featurettes that go into the movie’s plot and locations. There are even promotional videos for the Lego video game tie-ins.

There’s information on who all the people in the movie are in the “Characters” section, which loads a brief background of that character and allows you to pick out some downloads specific to him or her.

Just (surprisingly) nine stills from the film can be found in the “Gallery” while the “Games” section is about promoting the online multiplayer game, the console editions or other versions. “Products” also has information on the video games as well as other stuff you can buy and “Activities” has stuff you can interact with either online or in the real world by downloading and making yourself.

The site finishes up with sections on “Community,” a place where you can check out Jack’s “Past Voyages” and more.

The movie’s Facebook page promotes many of the interactive features of the official site in addition to hosting its own selection of video, photos and a list of updates as to what the latest information on the movie and its cast and crew are.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

The advertising push for the movie kicked off with a commercial broadcast during Super Bowl XLV that, unfortunately, wasn’t all that different in substance than the first trailer. We get to see Captain Jack again and are introduced to the mermaids, zombies and other obstacles he’ll encounter on this quest. An extended version was released after the game that was a bit better, showing more of Blackbeard in the extra 30 seconds it had to use and so that longer one comes off a bit better because of the extra detail.

A later TV spot would build largely off the second trailer, giving the audience hints about the Fountain of Youth and what it takes to get there and such. It’s not all that different from the earlier commercial, so it could generously be called “consistent” though “unoriginal” would be a less charitable reading. The “live forever” theme would also be hit in a commercial that ran during one of the NBA playoff games, giving the movie a pretty broad audience.

Further commercials would take narrower focuses, including on the mermaids and other specific facets of the movie.

The movie also got a new video game tie in, this time in LEGO form, becoming the latest franchise to get a brick-based incarnation.

Verizon was one of the promotional partners for the film, creating a site that allowed you download exclusive wallpapers, watch videos and more. Pirate’s Booty, the popular all-natural treat, created limited edition movie-themed packaging. Beauty brand OPI released limited edition finger nail polish that tied into the film and you could buy exclusive shirts and other clothing at Hot Topic, jewelry inspired by the movie from Swarovsky. Best Buy and Visa were also promotional partners but to what extent isn’t clear.

Media and Publicity

While rumors had circulated for a while about who would be directing, what cast would be returning and such, the appearance by Johnny Depp in full Capt. Jack Sparrow garb at Disney’s D23 (Variety, 9/11/09) fan expo in September 2009 was the first full-bodied confirmation a new movie was underway. At the same time the film’s title was released and a title treatment revealed, though little about the plot was spilled by anyone.

In April 2010 news began to circulate that Disney was keeping a tight hand on the budget (Los Angeles Times, 4/27/10), at least making sure it would not expand beyond that of the previous movie. That got bandied about a bit and some people wrongly inferred that meant the studio was cheaping out, but all it really indicated as that even people there realized the third film was kind of an overly complex mess that could have used a bit of trimming in a number of areas.

A filmed intro from Depp in costume and character was screened at Comic-Con 2010, with the actor teasing what the film would or wouldn’t be about, who might or might not be in it and otherwise clarifying things for the audience there. Served well to give the movie a slight presence at the convention and make sure the folks there were reminded the movie was coming in the midst of the onslaught there.

News broke that Disney had brought in a special marketing consultant (Hollywood Reporter, 9/7/10) for the movie, something that was widely seen as a vote of no-confidence in relatively new marketing chief M.T. Carney but which in actuality is probably not that big a deal considering this movie presents a number of challenges in its potential marketing.

Just before the release of the first trailer it was announced that release would be part of a huge movie-themed event at Disneyland (a Voce client) that gave fans special treatment and the first look at the first trailer in exchange for dressing up as pirates and other opportunities for an enhanced experience.

The release of the first batch of official photos became a press event (USA Today, 12/9/10) of course, since there’s so much anticipation for this movie. The timing of those photos was right around the release of The Tourist, another Depp film, though that may not have been the best idea considering the reviews that movie was getting.

There was also talk about how this was somewhat of a thematic departure for director Marshall (Los Angeles Times, 12/14/10), who was attracted to the project by the prospect of working with Depp and taking on a different type of story than he usually tackles.

The tie-in toys and other products for the movie were also among those debuting or otherwise making a big show at the annual Toy Fair convention (Hollywood Reporter, 2/10/11).

More events were held at Disney theme parks, which hosted nights where extended sequences of the movie were shown in 3D to park-goers, who were once again encouraged to come dressed as pirates for the screenings. The movie was also promoted to a more industry-centric crowd at CinemaCon 2011 (THR, 3/29/11), the exhibition trade show. More industry and promotional efforts were likely the impetus behind scheduling a screening (out of competition) of the movie at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival (LAT, 4/14/11).

Inevitably the attention to turned to Cruz (LAT, 4/29/11) and how this was the actress’ first foray into big budget, effects-driven blockbuster territory.

Depp also would weigh in on how the filmmakers sought to simplify the story this time around (Entertainment Weekly, 5/5/11) and eliminate all the interconnectedness of the last couple movies, which you needed a proverbial pirate’s map to navigate.

Overall

There’s some good stuff here, but at some point like this the elements that work actually get drowned out by the fact that such a broad appeal is being made here. But with a campaign like this that’s trying to bring in as many people as possible that’s kind of the point. The audience needs to be convinced to come back for more adventures featuring these characters for the fourth time and after a four year hiatus.

The posters, as I point out, position Capt. Jack as more of a hero than he’s previously been while also working to introduce the new supporting characters and villains. The trailers only half-heartedly discuss the film’s plot while mostly being about promising a good, adventurous time at the theater.

As with the movie itself the campaign depends greatly on Depp’s charm, which is substantial. As the star of the film he’s been front and center in the ads, in the publicity and more as the public is wooed.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

  • 05/20/11 – ClickZ covers some of the online advertising, which was certainly sizable, that was done for the movie.

Quade

I’ve been pulling for Mike Quade to turn the Cubs into contenders. He certainly seemed to inspire the team to play more solid and consistent baseball in the final 30-some games of the 2010 season.

But his approach does not seem to be having the same impact in the first month and a half of 2011 and all the media-driven promises of how he was so good at drilling fundamentals into players seem to have been so much vaporware.

Is it alright that I’m legitimately wondering what the team would have looked like under Sandberg, who was shown the door after operating for years under the assumption the managerial job would one day be his? I have to believe that having someone the older players weren’t so comfortable with and who many of the younger players had previously known as their minor-league manager would have created a situation that would have continued to train rookies, shown veterans you actually have to try and catch fly balls and more. Because Nice Guy Quade doesn’t seem to be getting the job done.

Movie Marketing Madness: Skateland

Movies about that *one* summer or that *one* night that turned out to be pivotal in the lives of the characters in it are nothing new. Notable examples are, of course, American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused, both of which show a group of friends and others on a single night where decisions need to be made and future plans made that will insure that nothing is quite the same in their world.

Following in that tradition now is Skateland. The movie follows four friends – everykid Ritchie, charmer and bad boy Kenny and brother and sister Brent and Michelle – as they realize that their adolescent lives in 1983 are about to end and they must decide in what manner they are going to grow up.

Their choices are paralleled by the closing of the local roller rink, the most popular hang out spot in their rural suburban town.

The Posters

The movie’s first poster is pretty simple but it’s effective in establishing the time period the movie takes place in (that feathery hair can only belong in the late 70’s or early 80’s) as well as, seemingly, what the movie is *about.* Showing the two main characters lying next to each other, with Fernandez looking off into space conveys pretty clearly that we’re dealing with a movie about teenagers trying to figure out what to do with their lives. It’s also clear that it’s the male figure here that’s doing the pondering while it’s his (presumably) girlfriend who’s trying to tell him to get on the horse. Again, a simple design but it conveys at least a couple key elements of the movie.

A second poster was released later on that used a photo of the four main characters standing in front of a car as its central image, but nicely split up that photo so that you see the upper parts of their bodies at the bottom and their feet and the grill of the car at the top, with the title and credits and such in the middle. Simple but nicely done. It also more clearly conveys that we’re dealing with a group of friends here at some pivotal time in their life.

The Trailer

We start off in the trailer by meeting the two main characters, who are living the summer life by hanging out and working part time jobs as they’re trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. But then we see there’s conflict between them as she realizes it’s time for them to grow up but he still feels like it’s time to party and there’s more time to work on a long-term plan. There are fights, there are beers that are consumed and so on.

I like this trailer a lot for the way it gives a general overview of the conflicts and struggles that it will put the characters through without giving a ton of details away. We certainly get the time period it takes place in and the sense that we’re going to meet an extended group of friends, some of whom are good influences on our main characters and some of whom who aren’t. It comes off as more than a little similar in vibe to movies like American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused so it will be interesting to see if the movie itself comes anywhere close to reaching those aspirational highs.

Online

The minimalist website opens with a nicely subdued image of the main characters behind the title. You can choose to just View the Trailer or Enter the Website here.

Choosing the latter the first sections the “Synopsis” which gives you a good look at what the movie’s going to be about and who the characters in it are. After that is a very cool section called “Film Notes” that contains personal notes from writer Brendan Freeman and director Anthony Burns about what they were trying to do with the story and the movie and the how they went about contracting this world.

The “Cast” and “Crew” sections have good, if brief (largely because we’re dealing with young actors without a ton of history) backgrounds on the talent involved in the movie.

“Photos” has 15 stills from the film and the “Trailer” just lets you play the trailer. “Events” has a history of where the movie has appeared at film festivals and other gatherings and “Theater Locations” will let you know if the movie is or will be soon playing near you.

The movie’s Facebook and Twitter pages have updates on the reviews of the movie and the activities of the cast and crew as they try to promote the film. The Facebook page of course has a bit more multimedia in the form of pictures, videos and more.

Advertising and Cross Promotions

Nothing here, I’m afraid.

Media and Publicity

The movie has been bouncing around for a while now, having debuted over a year ago at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, an appearance that resulted in decent buzz and reviews. Director Anthony Burns racked up some press there, talking about how he shot the period movie on a small budget and what decisions he had to make when it came time to go into the editing room.

It later had an additional screening at SXSW 2010 where some of the focus was on Green. An initial trailer (really more of a promotional reel) was released right around then but I can no longer find a copy of that online.

Overall

This is by no means a huge or enormously successful campaign. But it works more often than it doesn’t and, more than anything, remains true to what it is. The trailer and posters are good vehicles for conveying the story of the film and present an attractive film to anyone who’s paying attention and is interested in these sorts of coming-of-age tales. It’s clear from the campaign that we’re greatly reliant on how charming and relatable the actors and their characters are to the audience. A nice effort for a movie that may very well be worth checking out.

Movie Marketing Madness: Bridesmaids

Two wedding related movies within a week of each other? That’s right it’s summer, otherwise known as “counter-programming season” as studios try to woo female audiences to the theater during a time that’s best known for being full of movies designed to attract guys, teenagers and young kids. So for every spandex-clad hero that will be gracing screens there will also be movies meant (in the most generic, stereotypical way, a position this author does not necessarily subscribe to) for the distaff set.

But Bridesmaids is a little unusual and certainly doesn’t even appear to be in the same genre as last week’s Something Borrowed except that they both do, in the loosest possible terms, deal with weddings. This new movie, though, has a much different take. Kristen Wiig plays Annie, a woman who’s more than a little directionless in her career, her romantic relationships and more. One day she’s asked by her best friend Lilian (Maya Rudolph) to be her maid of honor at her upcoming wedding. The awkward factor is only increased when she’s introduced to the other bridesmaids, who range from a bitter stay at home mom to an innocent newlywed to a gorgeous woman who has her life together to a rough and tumble lady with an overactive libido.

The Posters

The first poster for the movie certainly did quite a bit to convey the film’s attitude. All the women are standing against a plain brick wall in their formalwear with looks of extreme attitude on their faces, like a gang of tough chicks hanging out behind the high school waiting for someone to come and try to mess with them.

As i said, this one is all about selling the attitude of the movie as being something other than what’s normally seen in movie-themed films. Instead of perky and funny we get world-weary and sassy, like any of these women would as soon cut you as look at you.

A second version of the poster was basically the same image, only with a bunch of quotes from various movie sites at the top, with most of those quotes coming from SXSW and other early screenings.

Later a series of character posters was released, each one showing a different member of the cast and introducing their character with an identifying characteristic like “The Innocent One,” “The Wild Card” and such like that.

The Trailers

The first trailer immediately shows us Rudolph announcing her engagement and asking Wiig to be her maid of honor, a role that she accepts but that’s apparently before she realizes what all is involved. Meeting the rest of the bridal party is awkward all around as the other women are not at all the kinds of crazy. Then the group is off to Vegas for some cranes and it’s then that we get a fast montage of some of the antics they get into there.

The spot makes it clear the movie is being positioned as one that shows women can be every bit as crazy as guys, if not more. There’s lots of smack talk and insanity in what they’re doing and it’s clear much of the comedy comes from Wiig and her reacting to the others in the wedding party, all of whom are quite different in personality. So she gets to be the straight woman while everyone else goes for punchlines. Good stuff.

The second trailer starts out by presenting more background on Wiig’s character and the sad situation she’s in. We then see various antics that she gets in to with the rest of the bridesmaids once she finds out her best friend is getting married. There are a lot of the same jokes here that were in the first one, just with a slightly different approach to many of them. There’s also a little bit more about what kind of romantic situation Wiig’s character herself gets into but otherwise it’s not all that different from the earlier trailer.
Another red-band trailer was later released that showed how the bridesmaids interact with each other, which is the source of much of the comedy. There’s also some pretty raunchy bits between Wiig and Hamm that haven’t been seen before and it tries to milk a lot of laughs from the larger woman who has an overly aggressive libido. But other than that it’s not too different from the previous trailers.

Online

When you first bring up the official website you’re immediately thrown into pink overload. There’s a scroll of quotes from early reviews of the movie at the bottom and encouragement to connect with the movie’s official presences on various social networks all over the place. You can watch either the all-ages or restricted trailers as well.

After finally Entering the Site you see an array of the character’s faces with little placecards showing their names and character descriptions. Clicking on one of them takes you to a place where you can download and view media such as wallpapers, video clips and more that’s specific to that character. This same information is available by clicking “Characters” in the menu on the left.

“Film” has a Story synopsis, Cast and Crew histories and Production Notes to download and view.

The “Gallery” has a nice selection of stills from the film and “Video” all the trailers as well as two TV Spots and a Look Inside video that features interviews with Wiig and more.

All the material that was previously spread out amongst the characters is collected in “Downloads,” including Twitter Skins that you can add to your profile. Finally “Features” has a Trailer Maker and Photo Challenge for your entertainment.

The movie’s Facebook page has a bunch of features that have been ported over from the official site as well as downloadable photos and updates on the cast’s publicity appearances.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

I didn’t see any online advertising that was or wasn’t done but there was a bit of TV time bought, with commercials that showcased this as being very much an ensemble comedy. The ones I’ve seen have played up the rivalry between the bridesmaids and emphasized the interplay between them while still slightly favoring Wiig.

Media and Publicity

Despite the fact that it would still be unfinished, the movie was announced as the closing night feature at SXSW Film 2011. Considering the studio’s attempts to sell it as a female version of The Hangover and the fact that the crowd at SXSW is exactly the one that made The Hangover into a huge hit that made a ton of sense.

The buzz coming out of there was decidedly mixed, with some saying it was the funniest movie of the festival and others saying it’s just a mess. The movie’s screening there did give the director a chance to talk (Los Angeles Times, 3/15/11) about how he went about crafting the role for Wiig and what a “comedy nerd” Jon Hamm is.

There were also profiles of Wiig (Time, 5/2/11) and how she got the movie made, what her career has looked like to date and more, all of which is appropriate since she’s the driving force behind the film.

Overall

There’s a lot to like here, most of it the enthusiasm that’s coming off of Wiig no matter how much she plays a character who feels put upon and drifting. The campaign – and the movie as a whole – relies on her being someone who we *want* to watch and this marketing push makes it clear she’s just that and more. Really for all the emphasis that’s been put on the supporting players in the movie it’s still obvious that this is her movie to make or break and the character that’s presented here should be attractive to fans of hers.

I’m pretty sure that an audience that’s more accustomed to the more cliched and saccharine type of wedding movie might be a bit perplexed here and someone going in to this movie expecting that is going to be mightily disappointed. But if they’re expecting that kind of movie then it’s obvious they haven’t been paying attention to the campaign since that’s not at all what’s being sold here.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

  • 05/15/11 – An interesting partnership with group-messaging app Fast Society gave people promos that included audio clips from the movie and more.
  • 05/24/11 – Cole Albius at FSR calls the movie on the carpet for what he calls “false advertising” by selling the movie based almost solely on the idea that it’s a gross out movie for women.