Marketing For Summer Blockbusters Lacks Creativity

May 9, 2013

The Great GatsbyI don’t know about you, but I get pretty amped about all the great movies that are released every summer.

These blockbusters are big-budget movies featuring amazing actors, stunning effects and killer soundtracks. In particular, I’m looking forward to escaping the heat and making my way to the theater to see “The Great Gatsby,” “We’re the Millers,” “Elysium” and “Hangover Part III” this summer.

What made me pause is that I know about these movies more through my own digging and information gathering than through any marketing strategy. Aside from seeing the occasional interview from a standard press tour, I have not seen much in the way of advertising – not even a measly Facebook ad!

There are some exceptions, however. “The Wolverine,” which stars a buff Hugh Jackman, has been experimenting with various social media channels to drive early excitement for the film before it’s July debut. Prior to the launch of the official trailer, 20th Century Fox released a 6-second video from its Vine profile (see below). The rapid-fire teaser provided fans with a sneak look at key plot points, but didn’t provide too much (it’s only 6 seconds, after all). In addition, Jackman was the host of a Twitter Q&A where he recorded answers to fan’s questions from Twitter, and hardcore fans can create and upload a custom Timeline cover photo using an app on “The Wolverine’s” Facebook page.

It could also be that I’m going to have to look to other brands and even inside the theater to see where creativity (and marketing spend) is thriving — on product placements and brand partnerships. Just look at the incredible list of brands that have partnered with “The Great Gatsby” – MAC cosmetics; Prada and Brooks Brothers; Tiffany & Co.; Moet & Chandon; Plaza Hotel in NYC and the list goes on.

And some of the partnership tie-ins with “The Great Gatsby” are really quite smart. Take the Plaza Hotel, for example. The upscale hotel will pay tribute to not only the movie at part of its sponsorship, but also its own history with frequent guest and Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald. The hotel will host a weekly “Gatsby Hour” featuring a speakeasy-inspired menu and live jazz, delight guests with a reoccurring pop-up champagne bar, install a gallery-style display of costumes and props featured in the movie and the hotel will even open a new, $2,795 a night “Fitzgerald Suite” to coincide with the opening of the movie.

The scale of the efforts surrounding “The Great Gatsby” were exciting to follow, but I’m still underwhelmed, overall, at the marketing surrounding this summer’s biggest blockbusters. I can only hope that the movies themselves bring more excitement to the table!