AVATAR by ZenithOptimedia Sydney for 20th Century Fox

AVATAR

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Industry Publishing, streaming & media
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency ZenithOptimedia Sydney
Released October 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Television
Advertiser: 20TH CENTURY FOX INTERNATIONAL
Product/Service: FILM
Date of First Appearance: Oct 25 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: ZENITHOPTIMEDIA AUSTRALIA, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Entry URL: http://www.avatarmovie.com
Business Director: Jason Smith (ZenithOptimedia)
Account Director: Sean Richardson (ZenithOptimedia)
Investment Director: Sue Ellen Osborn (ZenithOptimedia)
Account Director: Marelle Salib (ZenithOptimedia)
Media placement: Television - National Free To Air, Subscription TV - 25.10.09
Media placement: Outdoor - Large Format Outdoor, Transit (Bus Sides) - 22.11.09
Media placement: Radio - National Coverage - 30.11.09
Media placement: Newspapers - National Daily Publications - 17.12.09

Results and Effectiveness

In the trailer launch audiences actually increased versus the previous Australian Idol segment – where ad break audiences generally decline. 'Enter the world' attracted half a million viewers – deemed so successful, Channel 9 broadcast again without charge in January. Commercially AVATAR became a box office phenomenon. It achieved $114 million at the box office – and is still going strong! In only 22 days AVATAR sank James Cameron’s last record-breaking effort, Titanic, which achieved nearly $58 million. We smashed the generally accepted Australian:American 10% box office benchmark by 53% ($114m:$745m), making Australia the most successful per-capita market!

Creative Execution
There is a standard way to launch a new film. We ignored it. We built and extended anticipation by leveraging every available piece of the heavily restricted film material. We launched with Australian Idol using a 3 minute 20 second trailer. As the first glimpse into the world of AVATAR we positioned this not as advertising, but as content, gaining key listings within TV guides countrywide – a media first. The second wave of reveal occurred with another key free to air TV partner, Channel 9, this time in the form of a half hour AVATAR programme. Hosted by the film’s lead, Sam Worthington, Enter the World, showcased unreleased studio content. In addition we introduced long form featurettes to further bring elements of Pandora and the characters to life. By using this unique approach we successfully positioned the film as an experience like no other and created unprecedented demand.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
The brief was clear. Make AVATAR a box office phenomenon. We had to first overcome the limited appeal of sci-fi films and lack of truly ‘bankable’ stars. Despite James Cameron’s pedigree, it was 14 years since he had produced anything for the big screen. We were also promoting 3D technology – where seeing really is believing, yet we could not show them. In a world of franchise films, established plots and stories our task was to launch an unknown epic adventure. We decided to position AVATAR as a film like no other. This meant that the film needed to be a talking point for mass audiences from the very first encounter. People needed to be left with no doubt that this was much more than just a “space/alien” film. This was the future of cinema, and they had a chance to be part of it!