So what exactly entices us to go see the latest summer blockbuster every year? Well other than our friends giving us rave reviews, or taking the word of a website or critic, a lot comes down to how well the movie is marketed.

Every year when a new movie comes out, we’re always suckered into seeing something we thought was supposed to be a great movie. Some movies live up to the expectations we anticipated after viewing an awesome trailer. Other times the actual movie sucked, but the trailer was phenomenal. In the second case, it’s the hype of the trailer release that draws us back to the theater.

Check out some examples of recent movie campaigns that drew (or will draw) people to the theaters.

Man of Steel Campaign

First off, a movie campaign may start out releasing several print ads. Then they’ll leak PR buzz to get people talking. After that, a full on campaign is launched. Every resource that can be exhausted is. Print ads, movie trailers, ambient posters, billboards, door handles, games, microsites, and more…

Admittedly, most motion pictures are funded by pretty powerful, mucky muck producers in Hollywood. But you can still get some good ideas for your own brand. These are some ideas on how they create the hype.

Man of Steel, Magazine cover
Billboard Ad
Cross promotion with Walmart. Viewers could pick up early premiere tickets at Walmart.

Man of Steel Trailer

District 9 Campaign

Although I am not a fan of alien movies, District 9‘s advertising campaign was clever and impressive. After building months of hype, District 9 pulled in $30 million in box office sales. Much of their success could be contributed to the loads of effort put into their viral marketing, print ads, and other advertising platforms.

Here are a couple of the ads that ran during this movies campaign:

Print Banner Ad
Bus Ad

District 9 Trailer

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Campaign

When it comes to sequels we can be skeptical. We sometimes think: this one won’t be as good as the first one. The first How to Train Your Dragon was awesome! It had great CGI, plot and character development, which all have the markings of a great movie. Best part: everyone in the family can go out and enjoy this one.

The marketing used during the first How to Train Your Dragon was really clever. Along with the familiar movie posters plastered everywhere, there was also a few digital marketing campaigns involved. Many companies may decide to design a microsite for their campaign, but creating an effective yet fun one can be somewhat challenging. Here’s a pretty cool one down below:

Similar to 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age, How to Train Your Dragon 2 decided to release a 2 minute short instead of showing several clips of the movie. This gave us enough insight to glimpse how amazing the movie could be.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 Trailer

If there’s one thing we can all take away from this, it’s the amount of effort that goes toward building awareness for your brand. Similar to new movie releases spreading hype for their own feature films, business’ can also apply some of the same approaches. And even if that’s not fiscally possible, they can at least be inspired by some of these examples.

So how can you transfer some of these great ad ideas to your brand?

  • Research other companies marketing strategies and see if you can come up with any new ideas.
  • Create and compile a collection of ads you’ve researched and campaigns that inspire you.
  • Think big and then funnel down. Conduct more brainstorming sessions with your staff or the people around you.
  • Don’t let your budget hinder your creativity. Much like the examples of District 9, there are other creative strategies that can captivate your audience. After all, the more you expose yourself to the countless number of options available, the better your chances are of having a successful campaign for your brand.
About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.