Marketing Summer Blockbusters: A Local Approach

Sara Taylor, SVP, Field Marketing and Lisa Giannakopulos, SVP, Field Marketing, 05.19.23

05.19.23 Sara Taylor, SVP, Field Marketing and Lisa Giannakopulos, SVP, Field Marketing

The summer movie season is known for blockbuster releases, with studios vying for audiences' attention and attendance. From superhero franchises to action-packed adventures, these big-budget films require strategic, effective, and innovative local marketing campaigns designed to maximize ticket sales and generate buzz that will propel them to blockbuster status, and at AGM, we deliver just that.

The importance of audience and genre targeting

Understanding a film's target audience- their demographics and preferences- is critical to developing successful marketing campaigns. Quantitative market research in combination with our Field Marketing experts' deep understanding of the over 75 North American markets we service allows us to understand challenges and opportunities on the local level. This means we know exactly where we need to be to help our clients reach their target audience, how best to reach them, and what to avoid.

We also analyze historical box office trends and genre preferences by market to tailor efforts accordingly. For instance, we know superhero movies and action franchises have massive global appeal, but most attract young adults, comic book fans, and families, so our approach to reaching that audience differs from the approach to reaching a romance audience.

We use this data and local knowledge to develop highly targeted publicity and promotional campaigns, tailoring messages to resonate with each individual project.

Building anticipation and awareness

To create anticipation and excitement, we plan a phased campaign rollout across relevant channels where the audience spends time. We often start by teasing the audience with posters and brief glimpses of the movie's content several months in advance. Then, we gradually release trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, and cast interviews to maintain interest and foster conversation.

We work with data partners to gauge audience reactions and understand trends on social media. We leverage these insights to adjust and modify the campaign's direction and messaging, ensuring that audience engagement remains high and impactful. Collaborations with influencers, fan contests, and live Q&A sessions with talent on social are layered in to amplify buzz and surround the film with organic content.

Establishing strategic partnerships and tie-ins

We create strategic partnerships with relevant brands and franchises to expand a film's visibility in the marketplace. Tie-ins may include product placements within the movie, branded merchandise, or themed food and beverage items. Our Field Marketing team leverages these partnerships by promoting them on a local level, partnering with businesses that target the same audience as the movie. This synergy makes partnerships more meaningful and fosters a lasting connection with the audience.

It all comes down to the approach

Successfully marketing a summer blockbuster hinges on a data-driven approach that targets audiences intelligently and creatively, using the right platforms and the right partners. By leveraging insights gathered from past campaigns, consumer preferences, and public reactions, we build anticipation and awareness, establish mutually beneficial partnerships, and create memorable experiences. A well-executed plan throughout each phase of the release process helps movies stand out, turning them into bonafide summer blockbusters.

Want to learn more about our local approach to field marketing? Get in touch.

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