Posts Tagged ‘marketing


Why Does Monsters University Have Different Trailers?

Don’t sleep through the latest Monsters University trailer . . . otherwise you might not spot the difference between them.

If you’re heading out to theaters this weekend to check out the new Disney/Pixar film Brave, chances are you’ll see one of the new teaser trailers for Pixar’s next film: Monsters University (a prequel of sorts to Monsters Inc). Exactly which trailer will you see? Well, random chance at your local theater will determine that. However, you don’t need to get too excited or worried about missing out on the other three trailers . . . and no, it’s not because I’m going to embed/link to all of them below.

In a really weird marketing move someone at Disney decided it was a great idea to make four “different” trailers that really aren’t so different. In fact, I’m almost positive that if you watched Brave more than once, saw the Monsters University trailer again, you probably would have thought you saw the same one. That’s because the difference between the four “different” trailers is a single line of dialogue. Other than that the trailer sare pretty much identical.

The line in question happens at about the :29 second mark when Sully pulls back the covers on Mike and he says a line in his sleep. Here are the four different possibilities that you may encounter:

“My homework ate my dog.”

“I can’t go to class. I’m not wearing any clothes.”

“My pony made the dean’s list.”

“Class president?” *laughs*

I find it really weird that Disney would create four versions of essentially the same trailer. I just don’t know what the reasoning for that is. It would be one thing if each trailer were actually unique with each one showing different footage. Hell, it might even make people interested to see Brave again knowing that they might see a different trailer (or happily surprised at the least). But to have essentially the same trailer with just this one line difference . . . it just doesn’t make any sense to me. In fact, the comedy in the trailer comes after that line making it almost forgettable.

Take a look at each of the different versions below and let me know in the comments if you have any ideas or thoughts on why Disney decided to create four “different” trailers.

“I can’t go to class. I’m not wearing any clothes.” Trailer

“My pony made the dean’s list.” Trailer

“Class president?” *laughs* Trailer

“My homework ate my dog”


Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Turn around….

Every now and then I get a little bit nervous about big pop culture phenomena that creates masses of crazy fans. In my tween years it was boy bands, but of course these days it’s vampires and werewolves and wizards. Today movie theaters around the country are losing their minds trying to deal with females of every age who are dying to see the 3rd installment of The Twilight Saga. I haven’t  had the privilage to see Twilight Eclipse yet (8pm tonight I will have the honor; it is my favorite book in the series and the guy who directed 30 Days of Night is attached to this installment so I have my fingers crossed), but let’s talk about what I have seen… The latest Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer via Film School Rejects which is supposed to be attached to today’s release of Twilight.

I was stunned into silence by this trailer. David Yates and Warner Brothers are sending Harry Potter out with a huge bang and you can feel how enormously epic this ending is in just these brief two and a half minutes. To be completely honest with you, the release of this trailer on MSN before Twilight’s opening has reshuffled my excitement. My immediate thoughts following the trailer was “screw Eclipse, I want Deathly Hallows”  which can only make me wonder how many other Twilight moviegoers may feel the same? Obviously the Twihards won’t care, but what about the rest of us? Could this trailer outshine Twilight Eclipse? Ok maybe I’m getting too excited. Honestly the Twilight fandom is so intense and rabid, I doubt this would be the case nationwide… But for some people (boyfriends and husbands being dragged to see Twilight), it may just be the highlight of the evening… along with Taylor Lautner being shirtless… yummy.

Whatever team or franchise you support its a great day for all. New epic film and new epic trailer… another great day at the movies.


Toy Story 3 Goes Viral

The bulletin board in Keller Hall on the UH Manoa campus had some interesting notices posted.

About two weeks ago some very interesting and usual advertisements started appearing on bulletin boards across the UH Manoa campus. At first glance you could have missed them as they tended to blend in with the other myriad of postings that these community bulletin boards tend to attract. Upon closer examination though you might have picked out these ads:

If you notice, all the fliers direct you to Upon typing in that link you are then redirected to the Toy Story 3 preview screening for Hawaii. A few clicks and you can sign up to see the first 65 minutes of Toy Story 3 this Thursday, April 29 at the Consolidated Kahala 8 Theaters. The only catch? You have to have a college ID in order to attend.

While viral marketing is nothing new, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it tried out in Hawaii. Three years ago, the viral marketing campaign for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight took geeks of the fan base by storm and asked them to decipher a number of different clues and tasks–each step of the way giving them access to information about the movie as well as creating a massive nationwide/worldwide alternate reality game (ARG). Since then a number of different companies and movies have tried replicating that success in trying to generate positive pre-release word of mouth.

The bulletin board fronting Hamilton Library at UH Manoa with Toy Story 3 ads.

While it was cool to see a studio try this out in Hawaii, I think it’s kind of a waste as all these advertisements do is direct you to the Facebook page that allows you sign up to come to the screening. I have to say though, whoever created the fliers definitely knew what they were doing as all of them blend in with the similar fare of other ads posted on the bulletin boards. From the handwritten text to the hand drawn artwork, it definitely looks like it could be legitimate. However inspired these fliers are, the age old saying is true: go BIG or go home. This campaign probably could have been something bigger and better with a little more help.

In any case, college students on Oahu will get a chance to see a preview of Toy Story 3 six weeks before it hits theaters. If you’re a starving college student, it might be worth checking out.

*UPDATE* The Red Band Project has learned that the the Honolulu Toy Story 3 “Cliffhanger” screening is now open to HIGH SCHOOL juniors and seniors (also needing to show school ID as proof). Spread the word.


Social Action from Participant Media

Last night we screened a special “eco-aware” film, DisneyNature’s Oceans, set to be released today on Earth Day. As part of the promotion of the film a Social Action campaign was created titled the “Save My Oceans Tour.”

At last night’s screening, the culmination of the Save My Oceans Tour campaign for the Hawaii screening involved a number of non-profit and community organizations, with a focus on ocean awareness, presenting information on their organizations as well as letting movie-goers know what they can do to help save our oceans. The most notable aspect of this campaign was that in order to get tickets, each movie-goer had to pledge to reduce their use of single use plastics by using reusable water bottles and shopping bags.

As we sat there I marveled at the amount of careful thought, planning, and coordination put into this campaign. What can I say, I’m an event guy. Stuff like organization, mobilization, and logistics intrigue me. After talking with the guy that was in charge of coordinating efforts locally, I discovered that Participant Media was the organization that was behind the Save My Oceans Tour campaign.

Being a little more intrigued I did a little digging on Participant Media and found some interesting stuff. First and foremost is that they create a number of different Social Action campaigns related to films they produce, DisneyNature’s Oceans being one of them. These campaigns bring to light the real issues behind the film.

The mission of Participant Media from their website:

Participant believes that a good story well told can truly make a difference in how one sees the world. Whether it is a feature film, documentary or other form of media, Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that also create awareness of the real issues that shape our lives.

The company seeks to entertain audiences first, then to invite them to participate in making a difference. To facilitate this, Participant creates specific social action campaigns for each film and documentary designed to give a voice to issues that resonate in the films.

How cool is that? They had the great idea to say, “hey, we want to make good movies, but we also want to do good by encouraging people to make a difference.” I don’t know about you but I find that to be way cool. You actually might recognize a number of other movies they’ve been involved with and have done Social Action campaigns for:

  • Syrianna
  • Good Night, And Good Luck
  • An Inconvienient Truth
  • The Kite Runner
  • The Visitor
  • The Soloist
  • Food, Inc
  • and last year’s Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature – The Cove

For each of these films there was a Social Action campaign that made viewers aware of the real life issues surrounding the films.

I encourage you to check out their website for more information on the company, the films they are involved with, as well as press materials, and their Social Action efforts.

Happy Earth Day everyone.


Bigger and Badder in the Big Apple

Last month we took some vacation in New York City (Manhattan specifically) visiting friends and taking in the sites. We visited the usual suspects: Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Natural History Museum, and of course Times Square pictured above. On our very first day in New York as we were walking around we saw this scene smack dab in the middle of Times Square:

Yes, a viking ship in the middle of Times Square. At first we didn’t know what was going on, but as we ventured closer we realized that the big ship was part of a promotion for How to Train Your Dragon. Being the movie and marketing geeks that we are we had to get a closer look to see what was going on. Sadly though as we got near the ship we figured out that the promo had already wrapped up as they were starting to take everything down and put things away. As we made our way past the ship and continued through Times Square we saw a line with people holding passes to see How To Train Your Dragon waiting to go into a theater–classic sign of an advance screening.

Later on I Google’d the event to see what we had missed and found out that the event was actually much bigger than we thought. Apparently America Ferrera (who voices one of the characters) was there along with a bunch of guys/actors dressed in viking regalia in an effort to mimic the movie. All of this was done in an effort to promote the film in New York City. Like the title of this post states, they do it bigger and badder in the Big Apple.

Suffice it to say that it was pretty cool that we got to see a big movie promo being done in a big market (what was left of it anyway). I don’t remember anything of this scale being done here on Oahu. Possibly the biggest “in theater” celebrity promo we had (the only one we’ve ever had) was when Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa (of Mortal Kombat and Johnny Tsunami fame) was at the advance screening of Balls of Fury–but it just so happens that he’s a sometimes Hawaii resident so that was why he was here. The other big screening that I can recall was (that we didn’t go to) was when they screened Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor at Pearl Harbor on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Man, wish I could have been involved with that event.

Anywho,check out the following pictures from media that was there during the event as well as a news report about the event:

How to Train Your Dragon a Fun Lesson in Times Square –

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy


Super Spots


Being perhaps the most watched televised event of the year, advertisers know that they have a captive audience during the Superbowl–which is why you have to shell out big bucks if you want your commercial to be seen by almost everyone. What I find interesting is that rarely do I ever hear about a movie trailer as being “the best Superbowl commercial” or the most talked about advertisement of the game.

Year after year though it seems as if studios always keep shelling out their money to have trailers shown during the big game. Does this really pay off? I mean sure we had Independence Day that had people talking and maybe even the spot for the Matrix generated some buzz. However, besides those two, none have been as memorable as some of the other types of advertisements during the game.

However, maybe that’s not their goal. I mean let’s face it, if you’re going to spend this much money on thirty seconds it better we worth your while. What I think the hope is for these spots is to serve notice to everyone that “hey, we’ve got our big tentpole movie coming out in a few months, go and see it because it’s going to look as good as this teaser.”

Having said all that I thought that we had a pretty good crop of trailers that were shown during the game this year. Here’s my assessment of what I saw, about when it was shown during the game, the amount of excitement it generated for me, as well as a small critique about each one:

Excitement Level – 2/5
Nothing here really blew me away. I liked that they played up the relationship between the Julia Roberts and Clive Owen’s characters without giving away too much of the back story.

GI JOE – Pregame
Excitement Level – 5/5
I’ve heard that this movie was in the works but haven’t seen much about it until the past two weeks or so. Needless to say I was blown away by the trailer and am now very excited for this movie. I like the semi-realistic approach that they seem to have taken to the treatment of the movie with the Joes seemingly able to accomplish military precision acrobatics. Did not seem campy at all–which was everyone’s fear.

Excitement Level 3/5
From this brief glimpse of Angels & Demons it looks as though a lot of the action from the book made it into the movie–which makes me hopeful as I thought Angel & Demons (the book) was better than the Da Vinci Code (the book). What I fear though is that Tom Hanks will still have the stiff role he had in the first one, which is the feeling I kinda got from this trailer as well.

YEAR ONE – 1st Qtr
Excitement Level 2/5
I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed with this trailer or the movie for that matter. While it did give me a few laughs it seems as if we have the same old Michael Cera and same old Jack Black together in a film. I will give it some points for having the combo of Jack Black and Michael Cera. I guess it’s playing up the straight funny man against the wild funny man angle.

FAST & FURIOUS – 1st/2nd
Excitement Level 3/5
While there was some new footage shown in this trailer, its strength lied in what made the first movie such a success: showing off cars, girls, and action! It also showed the reestablished relationship between Diesel’s and Walker’s characters which I think is a good thing.

Excitement Level 3/5
I liked how they made it look as if the trailer was a part of the Superbowl broadcast with Matt Lauer interviewing Ferrell’s character. The special effects looked pretty cool and I think that alone may draw some people.

STAR TREK – 2nd Qtr
Excitement Level 4/5
This trailer showed a lot of new footage, most of it action oriented. What also seems poignant was that the focus still seems to be on the new Kirk. This definitely isn’t your father’s Star Trek. While some die hard Trekkers may not be into all the action they’re showing, on the flip side it’s making me want to see it even more.

UP – 2nd Qtr
Excitement Level 1/5
Once again Pixar plays up their pedigree of really great movies by suggesting that UP will fall in line with what they’ve done before. Didn’t see any new footage here, with the exception of the great joke at the end with the scout losing the GPS, so it was hard for me to get really excited about this movie from what I saw in the trailer.

Excitement Level 2/5
I didn’t think they utilized the 3D glasses very well and hopefully seeing the movie in 3D will be better than seeing the trailer on TV in 3D. Having said that, they showed a lot of new footage that I hadn’t seen before. These new scenes were funny and had a few good jokes.

Excitement Level 3/5
Don’t usually get excited for Disney movies but this trailer showed a lot that I hadn’t seen. I liked how it started off by establishing The Rock’s role as a cab driver in Vegas. The basic storyline was also established in this short trailer as well with lots of effects shots mixed in to help out. Kinda looks like The Gameplan meets Men In Black.

Excitement Level 4/5
Let’s recap the footage they showed in this trailer: an aircraft carrier being blown up, robots transforming, and Optimus Prime fighting a huge robot. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely excited for this sequel.

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