Huge movie marketing campaigns roll out to bring back moviegoing
Future. After years of holding back (mainly due to COVID), studios are set to crowd the marketplace with a big new blockbuster nearly every week this summer. Marketing departments now have the unique challenge of having to appease a broad audience in traditional TV spots, but also unique groups across social platforms. Most importantly, by getting people back in theaters, the studios may be able to more easily market other movies that audiences should see in theaters… re-creating a new cycle of moviegoing.
Summer movie season (and the sky-high marketing budgets they demand) are back. To get butts back in seats, the studios are expected to spend an average of $150 million in marketing per blockbuster (i.e., Jurassic World Dominion, Lightyear) and around $75 million for mid-budget films (i.e., Nope, Bullet Train).
According to THR, how that money gets allocated is different than back in 2019:
- Broadcast TV has dramatically dropped in viewership (except for sports), but airtime for TV spots has increased in price by about 10%.
- Marketing across social media (which has also increased in price) requires a different strategy per platform because each appeals to a different demographic.
And all that marketing needs to be done faster. The marketing campaigns for a film used to begin six months before release, but that has shrunk to about three or four months because of how quickly culture moves on.
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With research firm NRG finding that movie-comfort level is up to a high 87% since the pandemic began, the studios may know that now is the time to reset audiences’ movie-going patterns… and reacquainting them with the theatrical experience is not just their key to beating streaming, but actually bolstering it.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said: “I think the data shows that when you open a movie in the theaters, it has a whole stream of monetization. But more importantly, it’s marketed and it builds a brand. And so when it does go to the streaming service, there is a view that that has a higher quality that benefits the streaming service.”