BREAKING THE MOVIE MARKETING FRAME by Prain for Prain

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BREAKING THE MOVIE MARKETING FRAME

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Industry Advertising agencies, Business equipment & services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market South Korea
Agency Prain
Director Kate Koo
Art Director Joe Fitzgerald
Designer Jin-Su Lim
Account Supervisor Minkyung Kim
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
Advertiser: PRAIN GLOBAL
Product/Service: 50/50
Agency: PRAIN
Chairman: Jun Young Yeo (PCG)
Chief Executive Officer: Sung Bong Lee (Prain Global)
Director: Kate Koo (Prain Global)
Art Director: Joe (Prain Global)
: Jenny Lee (Freelancer)
Account Supervisor: Minkyung Kim (Prain Global)
Account Director: Chang Ahn Jeong (Prain Global)
Public-Relations Consultant: Goodsoozin (Prain Global)
Public-Relations Consultant: Hoseong Kim (Prain Global)
Public-Relations Consultant: Hyeyoon Chung (Prain Global)
Designer: Jin-Su Lim (Prain Global)
Media placement: Media PR - Newspapers, Magazines - 20 October 2011
Media placement: Previews And Events - Website, Twitter, Facebook and WOM - 10 November 2011
Media placement: Online PR - Facebook, Website, Twitter, Blog - 1 November 2011
Media placement: Branding - All offline and online media, SNS - 10 November 2011
Media placement: CSR - Charity Band - 20-30 December 2011

Summary of the Campaign
We imported the movie, 50/50, and successfully executed every aspect of the business from distribution to marketing. It was an unprecedented case in the history of Korean movie business and thus was faced with challenges in almost every step. Movie experts discouragingly predicted 30,000 admissions score at most and that cultural differences would hinder the movie’s humor. In addition, 50/50 faced a competitive holiday season with blockbusters backed up by giant entertainment companies. However, our goal was to expand the horizon of what others believed to be the business sphere of PR and set a new paradigm in movie marketing. The strategy was to brand 50/50 as a movie to watch, keep and remember. The team created meaningful movie-related products and activities, which opened ways for fans to participate. Accordingly, 50/50 was positioned as an experience as a whole rather than a one-time content to watch. Movie fans became fans of our branding efforts and the final admission score reached 154, 290, a figure that greatly exceeded the industry estimation. With the immense power and potential of PR, we approach to the film 50/50 opened a new era in Korea’s movie marketing industry.

The Situation
Although we had no movie experience at all, the decision to import the movie 50/50 was based on its belief that the future of PR lies on creating and possessing its own contents. The film received much acclaim from critics in the United States but its success in Korea was not guaranteed mainly due to cultural differences and competitive holiday season. Moreover, the movie industry environment presented difficult conditions for low-budget foreign films. Yet with the absence of a client to please, we had the freedom to try new and unique approaches to promote the movie.

The Goal
We aimed to beat the industry prediction: 30,000 in admissions. However beneath the numbers, we had a more humble goal; to expand the territory of PR. Its objective was to execute every activity differently focusing on the quality of contents. It communicated first and foremost with primary targets such as fans of actors in 50/50 and avid moviegoers living in Seoul. We created a database for potential 50/50 lovers and communicated directly one-by-one. It invited opinion leaders and celebrities before the premier to generate WOM and maintained a vibrant conversation with pre/post ticket purchasers.

The Strategy
The strategy was to brand 50/50 as an experience for people to watch, keep and remember. Because the approach was to appeal to emotion, all activities highlighted quality than quantity. Key messages and visuals were strategically altered according to time and situation. In the beginning, 50/50 was positioned as a non indie-film due to public’s tentativeness for art films. Yet towards the end, 50/50 was positioned as an indie-film targeting small movie lovers. No activities were to be executed without the intention of touching potential moviegoers' emotions. Movie-related products were created to engage them with the experience. Such activities aimed to draw the attention of not only primary targets but also potential moviegoers. Overall, the activities were to create emotional attachment with the audience and make 50/50 an experience as a whole rather than a one-time movie content to watch.

Execution
Selected celebrities watched the movie two months before the actual premier on November 24, 2011. The movie was last shown in theaters on January 29, 2012. Before the premier, 50/50 highlighted the main actor and the 93% rotten tomatoes score. Special press kit packages were given to media for good publicity. Coffee cup holders showcasing the concept of 50/50 were distributed for free to more than 100+ cafes. 5 mini previews with celebrities and power bloggers were executed to generate WOM. SNS was actively used to communicate with and find demands from the audience. Demands led to events that used movie-related items; bittersweet glass, macaroon, and 50/50 chocolate. Charity band invited people to donate for cancer patients similar to the movie’s main character. Movie items eventually developed into an online shop. In addition, 50/50 collaborated with the artist, SML to continue to refresh the audience with new but related contents.

Documented Results
The promotion of the movie 50/50 was successful based on both output and outcome evaluations and it clearly demonstrated the power and potential of PR. The total admission score of 154,290 is almost 5 times more than the industry prediction. It's a score that actually reflects consumers’ behavioral change. 50/50 was featured in 213 influential media, including 10 broadcast placements on TV networks, which is a rare case for a low-budget foreign film. More than 100 charity band photos were received and donations reached 2,300,000 won as of March 2012. The company received thank you letters and emails from patients, doctors, and movie fans who became fans of our 50/50 activities. Survey conducted in January 2012 indicated that Twitter made moviegoers watch 50/50. Based on 5 point Likert scales, the overall attitude toward the campaign (Mean = 4.37) was positive. Such efforts of Prain suggest another path for PR and its future.