In the competitive world of movie marketing, getting noticed and standing out from the crowd can be quite the challenge. While every campaign has trailers and posters, some manage to create buzz through smart and clever viral campaigns. The following recent publicity stunts managed to get a lot of attention by being entertaining enough to be passed around and shared organically.
The Fabulous Stock Photos of Unfinished Business
To promote the new movie Unfinished Business, Twentieth Century Fox partnered with iStock by Getty Images to release a dozen office stock photos featuring stars Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco, and Tom Wilkinson. Stock photos are not exactly known for their artistic integrity, and these images really capture the bland and kind-of-odd genericness of the genre.
Before these photos were released, I hadn’t even heard of this movie. I actually think I saw a trailer for it a while back, but I completely forgot about it. But these stock photos were everywhere. I saw them on Facebook and Twitter, people emailed them to me, and they were all over the news. This campaign got people to bond over their mild amusement over ridiculous office stock photos, and in the process managed to raise awareness for the office comedy.
Zoolander Steals the Show at Paris Fashion Week
At the recent Paris Fashion Week, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson made a surprise appearance on the Valentino runway in character as male models (and frenemies) Derek and Hansel. Cue barrage of Zoolander quotes. The stunt was of course to kick off the campaign for the upcoming Zoolander 2. As can be seen in the video, Derek and Hansel have still got it, and the audience went crazy!
The appearance was accompanied by numerous pictures of the two posing with various fashion personalities (including Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour) and by Paramount Pictures announcing the film’s release date (Feb 12, 2016).
The first Zoolander came out in 2001, and Zoolander 2 isn’t coming out for almost a year. It’s a great movie, but it’s been a while, and hopefully the sequel will still be good. The studio is starting the marketing campaign early presumably to drum up enthusiasm for a property that a lot of people have probably forgotten about. I’ve been feeling a bit skeptical about this sequel, but I have to say that this runway appearance made me feel kind of nostalgic and excited for the new movie.
Robert Downey Jr. Presents Bionic Iron Man Arm to Boy, Everyone Reaches for Tissues
Well, this video isn’t actually marketing a movie, but it’s using a movie character, and it’s a great video, so I’m including it anyway.
Limbitless Solutions is a nonprofit run by students at the University of Central Florida that designs and builds 3D-printed bionic prosthetics for kids. One of the recipients is 7-year-old Alex. Alex loves superheroes, so the team designed an Iron Man bionic arm for him. Robert Downey Jr. came to present the arm to Alex, in character as Tony Stark, complete with his own Iron Man suit arm and Stark Industries carrying cases. The video is really, really sweet, and has created a lot of buzz for a great project. In fact, Limbitless founder Albert Manero reports that the viral video has already generated increased interest in the nonprofit, including talks with UNICEF to expand the project internationally.