Saturday, November 12, 2016

Bridget Jones Baby marketing

I'll add to this - your own photos etc would be very welcome

This post builds on an earlier post, which itself is long and detailed, looking at the international nature of the campaign and the trailers especially, but also looking back at the scale of this franchise - so lets start there.

The latest movie is at $180m worldwide - a good return, but well down on past entries. There should be a 4th based on those numbers. See my post on the Gant Rule (with BJB as an exception) for more details - such as this, the only territories with 8-figure returns:
  • Australia $13m
  • France $14m
  • US $24m
  • UK $60m

The basic: Premieres
This generates TV news and wider media stories (eg Mirror):

TV Chat Show Appearances
As previously blogged, The Ellen Show got the world exclusive for a day of the teaser trailer following a Zellweger appearance.

I mention the hashtag campaign further down. Key point here is just how large scale this operation is; with the global reach of Universal (with StudioCanal and other subsidiaries counted as part of this), there is much more than just a US or UK presence. The official site pushes the social media content, plus a range of videos, but you can find official Italian Twitter accounts, and many countries got their own Facebook page: UK, France, Germany, Australia... There are many fan pages of course. Instagram and other platforms were also covered, and Dempsey's Instagramming during filming sparked multiple media articles (eg).

Softis: Toilet paper tie-in
An easy target for mocking the quality of the movie, but actually a smart tie-in: what could be more family-friendly than toilet paper?! The very name of the brand, Softis, makes clear its target consumer is female (the Yorkie chocolate bar, by contrast, was traditionally marketed on its hardness - only men could deal with it!).
The link is for the agency's page with details on the campaign.

Note that this is a shot of supermarket shelves from GERMANY. The point deserves repeating: can you imagine a marketing campaign being built around any Warp movie, never mind an international campaign? What brands would risk association through tie-ins with Warp productions?

As chief European distributor ('presented by' in titles terms), its the NBC-Universal subsidiary StudioCanal that specifically negotiated this tie-in, and commissioned the marketing agency,
Whats also interesting here is how the Britishness of the movie is used as a selling point within this tie-in marketing campaign (and note the cost factor for StudioCanal, providing DVDs as prizes):
The cinema film cooperation initiated by Scholz & Friends will see Regina Softis products feature the Bridget Jones images with the motto “Lachen, bis die Tränen kommen” (“Laugh until you cry”) at the point of sale on pharmacy shelves until the end of the year. In addition, there are promotions with shelf eye-catchers and advertising columns. Through a competition promoted on the products and the web page, Bridget Jones fans can win two of 400 cinema tickets and one of 200 two-film DVD box sets every week. A particular highlight comes in the form of five trips to London for two people sponsored by the online travel agency opodo; these can be won by any of the competition’s entrants.
Here are some further product shots, again from the Scholz site:

The Aero tie-in campaign
This is a huge case study in itself!

If Softis is a highly feminised 'family' product range, Aero is more of an adult female treat brand, with a secondary youth market as a chocolate/confectionary product sold in multiple formats (bars, bags of minis, multiple flavours - including more male-friendly mint - etc).

StudioCanal (NBC-Universal) get direct benefits from this: the Aero webpage ends with not just a large 'WATCH THE TRAILER' sub-heading but the trailer embedded AND a button for 'BUY TICKETS':
Also noteworthy is the longevity of the brand; StudioCanal are clearly looking to use this campaign for the DVD, Blu-Ray (and likely multiple editions, perhaps franchise boxset) releases - the campaign runs for A YEAR!!! The DVD is released in January, TV networks presumably having paid a premium to get an exclusive window for the Xmas holiday season.

The idea of lightness is key to its brand: selling chocolate as a somehow non-fattening treat! Softness and lightness, the two qualities coming across from these two campaigns very clearly match the nature of the film, a light rom-com, not a harrowing social realist drama such as Warp's Tyrannosaur - try to imagine a tie-in campaign built around Olivia Colman's battered wife character in that film, or the oddball sort-of couple she forms with the troubled, violent Peter Mullan central protagonist.
This is how the NY Times presented the movie to its readers
Marketing tie-ins? Ha! Director Considine (left) with his leads at Sundance.
We're not quite done with this story - you'll have spotted the Facebook link; Aero was pushing for Facebook likes, and StudioCanal pushed this promo through its Facebook page for the film ... but there was much more to the campaign. Aero made further links with distributors such as vending machine supplier Broderick's, who splashed on their webpage:

You could even stumble across the campaign on LinkedIn - this Brand Culture director splashed on it:

The franchise has been a pioneer of mobile and social media platforms since the original film, which raked in additional money by offering premium rate text messages 'from Bridget'. The latest shows smart hashtagging designed to create a viral impact and spark debate on fans' social media profiles.
There is more on this below, looking at how mums sites like this US example used this as competition criteria, with prizes from UP/UIP/SC.

In part an extension of the hashtag campaign (look at how many sites featured this in the Google screenshot, with Scandinavian as well as American results up there!), the marketing campaign (through either UIP/Universal or StudioCanal mostly) reached out to influential female bloggers as well as mums groups, offering free screenings, goodie packs etc and gaining considerable publicity as a result.

This Aussie mums group put together an event screening, including a goodie bag as part of the ticket price. Event screenings form a growing part of cinema chains (exhibitors) efforts to combat the lure of home cinema, with specialist outfits such as Secret Cinema even taking their screenings outside of the cinema itself. The Abba musical Mama Mia was widely pushed as event cinema with audiences attending in costume.

This US group also pushed goodie packs, gaining prizes from Universal Pictures:
To enter, 'moms' would declare their favoured hashtag:

This blogger neatly pushed the merchandise, and acted out the girls night out that the distributors hoped would boost ticket sales:

The Luxembourg outlets also ran what we can see here from the Holland branch: a ladies night preview screening:
The Luxembourg cinema featured multiple foyer displays, including not just the usual cardboard stands but specifically one with a circular hole to stand behind and have your picture taken with the stars - I'll try to get a picture of that., but its another smart link to social media as thats where such photos will end up.

I spotted some charitable tie-ups too, such as this US example:
These would be informal, not through the distributor, but local groups negotiating with cinemas, such as the Community Gateway and Buxtons (Australia, a major market for the movie) events:

The definition of a prestige cinema, the site of many premieres, the Odeon chain's flagship cinema featured multiple billing for BJB all over its frontage, with two large side panels, another in a display by the entrance, and a fourth higher up, visible from some distance.

As ever, make the comparison with Warp - would Tyrannosaur or even their relatively big budget action thriller '71 get such billing? Without major stars - no.

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