There was an influx of “must-see” movies this year. Each film was competing with the other. Marketers came up with unique and creative ways to create hype and encourage viewers to watch their films. The following list comprises of this year’s heavily anticipated movies due to successful marketing campaigns.

Deadpool

When discussing this year’s best marketing campaigns, Deadpool is definitely the frontrunner. It’s marketing campaign was executed beautifully. From skull-poop emoji billboards to recreating Burt Reynold’s infamous pose on a fur rug for Playboy. Due to the clever marketing of the movie. Deadpool became the highest grossing R rated film of all time. Amazing!

Ghostbusters

The new Ghostbusters movie has been praised, as well as criticised, for having an all female cast. Due to the fear of losing viewers, Sony went into overdrive for its marketing. Promos feature NBA players, Progressive Insurance commercials based in the Ghostbusters universe, Papa John’s Ghostbuster commercials, Ghostbuster twinkies and the list goes on. The marketing was quite in one’s face. Whether people liked the movie or not is a different story. The bottom line is that Sony went above and beyond to make sure potential viewers knew the reboot was in theatres.

The Secret Life of Pets

The marketers of this movie convinced many people to watch an animated film about a little lost dog. By bombarding theatres with trailers to be played before other animal movies, like Zootopia and Finding Dory for example, it not only targeted children, but whole families. Trailers were also played during NBA playoffs and the movie’s Facebook page posted about it relentlessly. By teaming up with one of the world’s largest pet shops, the movie characters had a “PetSmart takeover” across the brand’s digital channels and stores. It left pet owners and animal lovers rushing towards theatres.

Suicide Squad

One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, Suicide Squad also had a genius marketing team. First and foremost, the casting was enough to win people over. With the likes of WIll Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie and Cara Delevigne, people were readier than ever to see this movie. Set leaks were also enough (and probably deliberate) to increase the hype. However, what really struck a chord with viewers was the soundtrack. Playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, the trailer was enough to convince people that this was a movie to be seen. Other than this, bands like Panic! At the Disco and Twenty One Pilots featuring on the soundtrack had a huge wave of fans going to see the movie. The result? A sea of Harley Quinns on Halloween, as far as the eye can see.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

This movie wasn’t difficult to market. Harry Potter fans, young and old were delighted for this release. First of all, the promotional posters easily set the mood. By mirroring the look (with a slightly modern twist) of the original Harry Potter films. Second, trailers and social media marketing took over from there. An announcement of the film’s script being released in book form also had fans hyped. In addition to this, Rowling continued to release pieces of writing as introduction to the movie. Other than it, the team had developed an interactive website for the film as well. In conclusion, if J. K. Rowling says “jump”, the world asks “how high?”

Zootopia

Disney has never had trouble marketing its blockbusters. Teasers, trailers and character figurines were enough to get the word across. Spoof posters of modern day films were also circulated to create hype. Singer, Shakira also endorsed the movie on social media repeatedly. Other than this, the movie’s marketing team reached out to the Furry community, encouraging them to post pictures of them in their fursuits on social media, along with the film’s hashtag, resulting in a viral marketing campaign.

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel not only produces eye catching movies, but it also boasts an array of successful marketing campaigns under its belt. The post credits scene from Ant Man showed a clip of what to expect from Civil War. That was enough to keep people hooked. Other than this, its trailer debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and became the number 1 trending topic on Twitter. More marketing continued on Facebook, when Marvel released it’s own version of “#FriendsDay” video for Captain America. The video shows pictures of the Captain’s team and ends with a picture of Captain America and Iron Man being ripped in half. Other than this, on Valentine’s day, a fake status was updated claiming that the two heroes were in a “complicated relationship” with each other. The campaign was enough to create a ton of hype and divide fans as they began picking sides.

Zoolander 2

Arguably the highest anticipated “fashion” movie of the year, Zoolander 2 could teach us a thing or two about a successful marketing campaign. Paramount partnered up with brands like Fiat, Barbie, Kiel’s, Samsung etc to promote the movie. Other than this, Ben Stiller and Penelope Cruz were featured in a fashion spread in Vogue magazine.Promotional posters looked exactly like high end fashion advertisements, enough to catch any fashion lover’s attention.

Moana

Disney’s back again with another princess to add to their lineup. Normally, marketing for them isn’t that difficult. Disney drops a new movie? You bet the theatres will be full. This time, however, they had The Rock advertising for them by posting repeatedly on social media. Hawaiian Airlines also unveiled their Moana themed livery for three of their Airbus A330-200 fleet. Other than this, the fact that the main protagonist was a person of colour, not too skinny, and in no need of a love interest, kept viewers extremely happy. The fact that Moana was voiced by Auli'i Cravalho, a Native Hawaiian, also kept fans happy and eager to watch the film.

Sausage Party

Sony is back at it again with its heavy promotion. In order to attract the younger generation, Sony deployed a heavy amount of digital marketing. The crew sent Seth Rogen to YouTube to film with Youtubers and partnered with Buzzfeed as well. The studio also teamed up with Snapchat to celebrate “National Hotdog Day”, where users could make their own sausage avatars. Other than this, the hotdog fast food chain called Dog Haus also helped promote the movie. In conclusion, by remaining tech savvy, Sony managed to get Millennials to flock to theatres to watch an R rated animated movie about grocery products trying to avoid being eaten.

By Jenny Corteza

Raindance
Since 1992 Raindance has been offering advice and support for independent filmmakers. We started the Raindance Film Festival in 1993, and the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

Most of our year is spent training thousands of new and established filmmakers in all aspects of film. Among high profile alumni are Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins), David Yates (Harry Potter), Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn – who actually met at a Raindance course. Raindance training is one of the world’s largest catering for over 3000 students per year.

In 2011 we launched an innovative Postgraduate Film Degree with Staffordshire University and the Independent Film Trust.

The 24th Raindance Film Festival has now released it's 2016 festival trailer: a homage to Stephen Spielberg who celebrates his 70th birthday this year:

In 2014 we relaunched our production arm, Raw Talent with the feature Deadly Virtues.