Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Avatar and TBTR - Marketing Comparison

  • Avatar and TBTR had different marketing campaigns with similar aspects
  • Created a sense of an 'event' film
  • TBTR £6.1million in 12 weeks
  • Avatar $3million opening weekend, total gross $2.78bn

So what made Avatar so successful with it's marketing? Firstly, Avatar was released at a better time than TBTR. Not only was Avatar was released around the time when 3D cinema was more avaliable, which meant the film could be marketed as a 3D film, but TBTR was released at the same time as films such as 17 Again, Monsters vs Aliens and Fast & Furious. This meant there was heavy competition for the secondary audience of the film. Avatar was released in November, which meant the target audience (families) had time to watch the film.

Avatar also had more viral campaigns to appeal to its audience than TBTR. Although TBTR had websites, iPhone apps and online playlists, Avatar had symbiotic relationships with Coca-Cola and McDonalds (Avatar yourself website), film websites with clips and teaser trailers, video games and much more. This ensured that all areas of the target audience were appealed to and that the film had a strong narrative image. By ensuring that the audience knew what the film was about and when it was going to be released, they could get the largest possible audience range to watch the film.

Both films had marketing campaigns which appealed to their respective audiences, although Avatar's campaign appealed better and reached a larger amount of people, as was shown by their large profit. TBTR's campaign tied in with the film, as the playlists contained 60s songs and the iPhone app was based on an old card game, but unfortunately the release was at the wrong time which meant they didn't make as much money as Avatar.

Avatar Marketing Research

  • Released during Christmas holidays in UK, easier for core audience (families) to wacth film
  • Lots of word of mouth virals and urban myths surrounding film, idea of an 'event' film created
  • Lots of posters and TV adverts, everyone knew when opening weekend was going to be
  • Global Premiere in London shown a week before US release, allowed word of mouth to spread about the film
  • The DVD release was staggered across countries, released in US on 40th anniversary of Earth Day, promoted eco-message of film
  • DVD in US had codes so consumers could sign up for AVATAR programme, could adopt one of the million trees to be planted and makes them feel like they are help save the planet
  • 'New' release date was same as Titanic, same director increased expectations of film
  • Video game also made appealed to younger audience of family

TBTR Marketing Research

  • Released on April 1st in UK, later release at Thanksgiving in US
  • Marketed with big name US actor as main credit with many UK actors in supporting roles, appealed in US as well as in UK
  • UK competition with Monsters vs Aliens, 17 Again and Fast&Furious
  • US competition with Disney's Christmas Carol, New Moon, 2012, The Blindside and The Princess and the Frog
  • Websites, iPhone apps and "Dancing Buddies" helped market the film, all aspects tied in with film setting and created film awareness

TBTR - How has the film been marketed to ensure the film reached its UK audience?

Target Audience - Campaign needed to appeal to core audience (middle-aged adults) and secondary audience (older teenagers / young adults).

Cross media convergence and synergy - Different aspects appealed to different areas of target audience. Websites, Spotify playlists and iPhone apps helped built up a film identity and give a sense of an 'event' film, helped Exhibition as it made it main screen at cinemas.

Audience Behaviour - Advertised as a typical Working Title film (recognisable actors/actresses and storyline from trailer), audiences who liked other films will be interested in seeing this one

Technological Convergence - Could be marketed via different mediums; TV adverts, radio adverts, playlists on Spotify for each character, iPhone apps and large posters around city areas.

International/Global comapanies targeting UK audiences - This could raise issues as the international companies may not know the needs or wants of the UK audience, so may not market it to suit their needs. Vertical ownership means that Working Title are owned by Universal, so the company knows the needs of UK and US audiences overall.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


The American and British audiences differ in opinions and expectations with regard to film. It has been established that the British audience likes more gritty and "real" comedies while an American audience will prefer happy, more make believe endings. The posters show this through the image of the boat. In the English poster the men are walking proudly out into the unknown and the audience is left wondering what will happen to them, creating suspense and also admiration for the brave characters. In the American poster the men (and added girl) are falling into an ocean with a boat coming to rescue them already. *SPOILER ALERT* This already gives a sense that the characters will be saved at the end of the movie and the American audience can feel safe going in to see this movie.

Another key point is the difference in industrial information. While on the American poster allot of information is needed, such as "From the creator of..." and "inspired by true events." This is needed because of the high level of British content that would need explaining to an American audience. By just leaving the poster open for British audiences to fill in with their own knowledge it attracted them by making them feel clever and knowledgeable. This is also seen in the change in title from "the boat that rocked" to "priate radio," which was a much more direct title, explaining allot more of the story

The order of the characters has been changed also. In the English version it is the englishman who stands at the front while in the American poster it is the one American actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who leads the way. The addition of the two characters who were one of the main "love interests" in the film was more for the American audience who like the happier comedy. The walking in the English poster is also a reference to the classic English image of The Beatles crossing the zebra crossing on their album "Abbey Road." However the American audience may not understand this reference and so it was changed.