Posts tagged with “Hollywood”
By Megan Burton
It’s 2015, and the PR industry is certainly changing. No, the press release still isn’t dead, but as our audiences’ news consumption habits and preferences evolve, brands must continue to explore fresh, creative ways to announce new products and share newsworthy content outside of the typical AP Style, inverted-pyramid structured press release of days past.
One such example comes from an unexpected source (which is kind of key, right?): actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. In case you missed it, Stiller and Wilson hit the runway during Paris Fashion Week to announce the sequel of their 2001 film Zoolander:
Dressed as characters Derek Zoolander and Hansel, the actors strutted down the runway during the Valentino show, confirming the long-rumored and highly anticipated sequel. Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the upcoming film, further confirmed on Twitter. Absent from Paramount’s announcement? You guessed it: A press release. Instead, Paramount relied on Derek and Hansel to tell the story, with the help of social media, of course. The results have been unbelievable; a Google News search shows more than 6 million clips of the story in less than two days.
You may not have access to really, really, ridiculously good-looking celebrities or a high fashion runway, but you can be successful in sharing your unique message by thinking outside of the traditional-PR box, finding fresh ways to connect with your audience, and embracing social media. Don’t know where to start? We can help.
And no, Derek Zoolander still can’t turn left.
It’s no secret that Google+, Google’s answer to popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, has been the brunt of countless jokes since it was first introduced in June of last year. Most of the jabs came from people who were already devoted to their Facebook or Twitter profiles who couldn’t be bothered to join yet another social media website.
So when it was announced last week that the trailer for Steven Spielberg’s new film Lincoln premiere on Google+ Hangout, reaction was mixed. Many Twitter users seemed to like the idea, or at least were impressed that Spielberg was attempting to try something new with his marketing strategy. (For those unfamiliar with Google+ Hangout, the site is basically a group video chat where up to 10 people can interact via webcam while sharing screens or Google docs in the process.)
Not only will the trailer be available for viewing on the Google+ Hangout online, but it will also be broadcast live in Times Square on the ABC SuperSign, making the premiere a truly spectacular event. Following the premiere, director Spielberg and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars as Tad Lincoln in the film, will join the Google+ Hangout to get audience reaction and answer pre-submitted questions from fans.
It sounds like a lot of work to go to just to release the trailer to the film. But DreamWorks (the studio producing the film) has a clear strategy to their marketing campaign. Think about this: Spielberg is probably the most well-known director working today. The film is about one of the most famous figures in American history and is based off the Pulitzer-Prize winning book Team of Rivals, which was a New York Times bestseller. So this isn’t your average movie we’re talking about. The studio understands it has an event picture on their hands, and their marketing team is smart to being promoting it with this unique concept.
But “Lincoln” also has another thing going for it: it will be released Nov. 9, just three days after the 2012 presidential election. It’s probably safe to bet that with all the prestige surrounding the production, coupled with the timeliness of the release, DreamWorks will have a huge hit on its hands.
It will be interesting to see if the studio has any other marketing tricks up their sleeves before the film is released in a few weeks. If you'd like to check it out, RSVP here to the Google+ Hangout, which will be taking place tomorrow night at 7 p.m. EST.
I was one of thousands of people across the country who attended a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday, July 20. When I woke up a few hours after returning home from the theatre, my Twitter feed was filled with reports of the devastating shooting in Aurora, Colo., at a screening similar to the one I attended. How incredibly sad to think that a place to which so many flock for sharing each other’s company could be the venue of such a sickening attack.
Part of crisis communications involves uniting people when tragedy occurs, as difficult and daunting a task as it may be. PR professionals have to be sensitive in their dealings with the media at all times, but particularly in the midst of a tragedy. That’s why it’s been interesting and even inspiring to see how the studio behind TDKR, Warner Bros., has handled itself and the marketing of the film in the midst of this crisis.
In a bold move, WB withheld the weekend box office numbers for the film’s opening weekend, putting the emphasis on respecting the victims and their families instead of on the film’s earnings. WB also canceled the international premieres for the film to tone down the more glamorous aspects related to the film’s release.
But the studio didn’t stop there. It reportedly donated a substantial (though undisclosed) amount of money to the Aurora Relief Fund, which goes directly to helping victims of the shooting and their families.
Even actor Christian Bale visited victims recovering in the hospital. Although some jumped to the conclusion that the visit was only a publicity stunt on the studio’s part, the studio claims that Mr. Bale made the visit by his own volition.
It’s not often we find lessons to be learned from an example set by Hollywood. But Warner Bros. has acted far more genuinely than many other corporations do when faced with a crisis. The studio knew its actions could affect the film’s box office numbers, and ultimately its bottom line. But after the shooting, money wasn’t the important issue. With its priorities intact, Warner Bros. responded to the Aurora tragedy with class, dignity and a keen understanding of the situation.
It’s this kind of effort that should inspire everyone in the PR field to do good work with integrity and respect, and to manage crises with sincerity and compassion.