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Tips and tricks employed by movie marketers

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That Movie Looks Good – or Does It?
Tips & Tricks Employed by Movie Marketers

As you meandering through various department stores and knick-knack shops downtown, you notice a seemingly-normal bench on the sidewalk—well, except for the gigantic advertisement that makes up the entirety of the bench’s backboard, right? Moreover, it is an advertisement for the latest movie to emerge in theaters. That probably gets you thinking about that documentary (or was it a commentary?) you watched last night on television about how they managed to find the perfect acting cast for that movie.

Well, you have just witnessed a very tiny portion of the tactics used by professionals in the film industry to promote the latest movie on the big screen. Their marketing madness goes well beyond the likes of a park bench or commentary though. In fact, you have probably been influenced subliminally in several of the stores you have visited lately. From stuffed animals, to sweats and fleece, advertisers are looking for any means of marketing, even if it means persuading you to stay warm with promotional sweatshirts or hoodies. Nothing is off-limits; especially if it is creative and invokes the imagination.

Speaking of creativity, the marketing and promotional tactics really begin to liven up when it comes to children’s movies. With a mind like Play-Doh, a child’s imagination can be shaped, molded, and contorted to reflect a vibrating interest in any animated or cartoon-like movie. Then again, who is the advertising really for? A talking teddy bear or quirky duck is already going to peak the interest of most any child, but generally the child is not alone when going to see a movie, but instead is accompanied by an adult. Perhaps the advertising was made to stimulate the interest of adults. Seeing that quirky duck displayed over Times Square might make a parent think, “Well, I guess it could be funny.”

As the minds of movie marketers everywhere become more creative, sometimes even bordering genius, there is still a heavy interest in the more traditional marketing methods as well; these include radio interviews, flyers, and of course, the beloved television commercial that so kindly interrupts the television program we were watching in depth. That should not be a hard concept to grasp though. In fact, when you consider how much time is spent in front of a television, it would actually be irresponsible for marketers not to utilize this outlet.

Of course, we cannot forget about the one piece of technology that has single-handedly taken over and become a staple in the everyday lives of most folks—the Internet! While it used to be that one could not access the Internet without logging into a big, clunky desktop computer, now folks everywhere are gaming, managing money, and even watching movies, on tablets and smartphones. So, it should go without saying that movie-marketing has since appeared everywhere on the web, from dedicated movie sites, to fan sites, to the annoying little pop-ups that grace just about every web page.

As we all know, some movies were meant to be seen, while others ended up being complete and total duds, bringing in very little profit at the box office. This concept is what makes the task of marketing a movie so difficult. Think about it; the job of a marketer in the film industry is similar to that of a public defendant defending someone they know is guilty. The marketer may have a hunch that the movie is not, let’s say, “Oscar-quality,” but it is still their job to get your but in a theater seat.

With that being said, it is probably safe to assume that as time progresses, so too will the promotional methods utilized by the film-marketing industry. Expect to see innovate, creative, and perhaps even downright bizarre feats of promotion that entice imagination and interest. Next thing you know, your butt will be parked in a theater seat preparing for the latest in box-office magic.

This post was written for HollywoodChicago.com by Andrew Brusnahan, a lad who finds the marketing industry quite fascinating; especially when it comes to the lengths that some marketers will go to just to sell him a product.

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