Published on March 5, 2014
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Marketing a Blockbuster
The Hobbit – Facts & Figures • • • • • • Distributor – Warner Brothers Producer – New Line Cinema Director – Peter Jackson Writer: Guillermo Del Torro) Stars – Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman Genre – Fantasy / Action USP – Adaptation, Franchise Prequel, New Tech (48 FPS, Dolby Atmos, Imax 3D) • Budget – $180 Million ($540 for all 3 films) • Box Office - $825 Million (after 3 weeks) • Opening Weekend - worldwide total of $223M • US Opening figure $84 Million • (US Highest opener $204 Million – The Avengers)
Hobbit – Star Cast • Sir Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Ian Holm as Old Bilbo, Christopher Lee as Saruman, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Elijah Wood as Frodo, and Andy Serkis as Gollum. • Martin Freeman plays the central role of Bilbo Baggins, with Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield.
Promoting The Hobbit • Official Website • http://www.thehob bit.com/ • Main Trailer: (2.30 theatrical trailer) • http://www.thehob bit.com/#content=vi deo§ion=mome nt&media=trailer_1 • A Range of Posters
Hobbit – Campaign Overview • The marketing campaign began back in 2011 on Facebook with a series of video journals from Jackson’s POV, engaging fans throughout the year by taking them into the production activity leading up to the announcement trailer at the beginning of 2012. • Jackson also marked milestones like Hobbit Day and the novel’s 75th anniversary. Publicity included the first ever film-themed Rolling Stone magazine standalone issue and a week of late night US television programming on The Colbert Report. • The Hobbit also received major treatment from Autumn and Holiday previews. An online media blitz kicked off in early November with an advanced ticketing campaign across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to drive early ticket sales. • Warner Bros live-streamed the world premiere from Wellington, New Zealand, to a record-setting audience of a million views.
The Hobbit & Hyper-real • A big buzz has been created around The Hobbit due to the fact it is the first film to push the hyper-real look & feel. • Three features combined to create the hyper-real effect: • the gradual maturing of 3D into a technology that is less intrusive than it once was; • Peter Jackson’s controversial decision to use the hyperrealistic 48 frames per second rate (or high frame rate • and the unique chance to watch the film with a sound system called Dolby Atmos, (which the sound business claims is the future of cinema, because it offers more realistic presentation of effects and music than ever before).
IMDB MovieMeter (Measures Film Popularity over time) In the chart you can clearly see how from 2011 The Hobbit is in the Top 100 and at the end of 2012 (film release date) it is at number 1.
The Hobbit – online marketing • The official Facebook page of the movie started on the 15th of February of 2011 and the official blog was revamped around that time. • Only later a YouTube channel, a Twitter profile and the official website of the movie would have been created. • The Hobbit Production Diaries and Video series, started first on the blog then.
Hobbit Production Diaries • The Diaries manage the expectations of the fans, following the basic rule of suspense: inform without really showing anything about the story itself. • Yes, we see the actors during the shootings, the FX specialists preparing the CGIs effects and so on, but no real sequences of the motion picture or, better, bits of them that we will remember when watching the movie. • The videos first published by Warner Bros have been viewed more than 10 million times thanks to their sharing and syndication in other YouTube profiles.
The Hobbit – online marketing • The Director’s personal Peter Jackson YouTube account the one that most success had in promoting the two series: with over 4 million direct views.
Hobbit Fans • Comic-Con (even Danny Sullivan tweeted about it), an already classic on-off marketing event; • On Site engagement asking the fans to vote the best possible ending for the new trailer; • Launch of the second trailer (2.6 million views and gazillions shares and republishing); • Reinforcing a collaboration with the biggest Tolkien’s fan based site: www.theonering.net, with initiatives like this one; • Creation of the Twitter profile and start of the real interaction of Social Media; • Fans engagement on Facebook (i.e.: the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of The Hobbit publication);
Hobbit Fans • Merchandising (i.e.: maps; figures; the Lego “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” sets or video games as “The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age”); • Wallpaper generator, plus many other fans goodies, such as Bombur Recipe Book; Dwarf Combat training game; Facebook’s ‘The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth’ game app. • Fans events as the “Hobbit Day Fan Photos”; • Viral videos, as the “An Unexpected Briefing” with Air New Zealand; • Apps for iPhone and iPad, etc. etc. • And a massive word of mouth fan endorsement!
Research Task – Word Document • You now need to explore how Shifty and The Fifth Estate were marketed. You need to make notes based on the following: – Facts and Figures/ Star Cast – Traditional Marketing techniques (posters, trailers, magazine articles, reviews) – New Marketing techniques (YouTube, twitter, audience participation, pull marketing, apps, ties in etc) – Use of stars – How effective do you think the campaign was.
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