How Marketing Can Make Or Break A Movie
Sony's marketing department was receiving kudos today (Monday) for its promotional campaign for District 9 , a relatively low-budget sci-fi flick that uses minimal special effects, is set in South Africa, and stars relatively unknown actors. Studio marketers had emphasized that the movie was produced by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. They previewed it at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, where it immediately gave rise to intense online discussion -- and quickly "went viral." On the other hand the marketing campaign for Bandslam (see reviews separately) was slammed by some industry observers. On her Deadline Hollywood Daily blog, Nikki Finke commented that the marketing for the movie "was so young that moviegoers thought it was High School Musical when it was closer to School of Rock ." She published an email message from an unnamed " Bandslam insider," who wrote that "instead of selling it quirky and cool (a la Juno ) they sold it on the Disney channel's Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka. Instead of selling the concept -- band of outcasts like The Commitments -- they Disneyfied this movie with glitter paint. ... There have been literally dozens and dozens of calls today and emails from heads of marketing at different studios saying this may be singly the worst job they've ever seen on a movie whose unique voice deserved to be heard through positioning, title, marketing tie-ins, and knowing your audience."