Tag Archives: Focus Features

How Do You Make Marketing Movies Via Social Media Sexy? Ask Beyonce

This is one of those “in case you missed it” posts.

We have previously written about the use of social media in the marketing of movies and television. Yet, I can’t recall ever detailing the use of social media to promote the upcoming release of marketing material such as a trailer. Likely that’s because the most obvious examples would be banal Twitter posts announcing when a film trailer is debuting on YouTube.

However, the pop star Beyonce has managed to make teasing the launch of a movie marketing campaign via social media a lot sexier, as anyone who has ever seen her perform might expect.

On July 20th the pop singer posted a 15-second teaser to her Instagram account of the trailer for “Fifty Shades of Grey”, the film adaptation of the best selling erotic novel by EL James. Put another way, Beyonce published a teaser trailer for the trailer of a feature film. We can’t help but wonder if that’s a first.

Fifteen seconds is the maximum length Instagram allows for video clips, but Beyonce demonstrates her mastery of such social mediums by proving that, if done right, that is more than enough time to peak one’s curiosity and anticipation.

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Focus Finds Unique Way To Prop Up Marketing For “Anna Karenina”

Anna Karenina Prop Sale

Thirteen years ago I attended a press junket for the film “Anna and the King” and was given what turned out to be a very special gift. Directed by Andy Tennant, the film is set in Siam during the 1860s and tells the story of how King Mongkut (played by Chow Yun-Fat) falls in love with a British school teacher named Anna Leonowens (portrayed by Jodie Foster). I had to look up most of the facts in that last sentence because I can’t remember a single line of dialogue or a specific scene from the film. What I can recall is how ornate and lavish the sets and scenery were, mostly because of the props Twentieth Century Fox handed out to journalists during the press event.

For the past thirteen years a wooden “book” has sat on my desk holding up whichever real literary volumes and papers stood next to it. It is nothing more than a hunk of wood carved and painted to look like a 19th century gilded book. To make it appear to be a best seller the king of Siam might own, rather than an airport paperback, it’s spine is painted in gold and decorated with a few plastic jewels. The glitter that once sparkled on its surface has long since eroded after a decade of contaminating an unending stream of tax forms, bills and miscellaneous paperwork that makes its way across my desk.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of this long forgotten film thanks to this trivial object, so useless it was given away to a journalist. Over the years, in the rare moments when there is a lull in my workload, I have sometimes looked over at this prop and wondered if there was an ideal way for studios to market films with their associated props, costumes, artwork, etc.

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