The thing that makes movie marketing so interesting, is that the strategy and approach for each film is so different every time. Even better, Warner Bros. is always wide open to ideas from every angle, so long as they hit the strategy and instigate, intrigue or otherwise motivate people to buy tickets. We worked on a number of films for Warners, some big, some smaller, some sure to be critical darlings and box office smashes and some that were more, um, challenging. And we did everything from creating social posts, to a wide range of experiential, to digital advertising, to manifestos that would inform and inspire the film's entire marketing campaign. The films shown below are but a cross-section of those we were brought in to help Warner Bros. get some box office mojo. We were initially hired to work on a couple of films. After those first projects were complete, we signed a long-term deal with WB.
Strategy: Inspire a nation to wake their inner hustler.
This was the first project we worked on for WB, and we were brought in not long before the film premiered. Which meant that they didn't have a lot of marketing dollars left to bring new ideas to life. A fact we certainly took to heart.
"War Dogs" is the true story of two guys who, through happenstance and dumb luck, somehow made $300 million as international arms dealers. It's an action/adventure comedy starring Jonah Hill, and it was actually a pretty good film. We called what they did "Hustling their way to the American Dream," and all of our work revolved around the idea that nearly everyone has a side hustle. Our goal was to bring that to life in a fun, intriguing and sharable (plus inexpensive) way.
We we started with a really simple idea: Plastering "help wanted" flyers guerilla-style in major markets across the country. The reaction all over social was priceless.
Social posts for something we created called the "Hustler's Handbook."
The posts led to a very basic landing page created, presumably, by Jonah Hill's character, where people could learn the ins and outs of hustling their way to the American dream.
Strategy: Two dirty cops trying to clean up crime.
So CHIPS. This one was a little different, mainly because the deservedly "R" rated film veered so far away from the squeaky clean image of the original 70's TV show. WB asked us to create an "adults only" marketing strategy and campaign that would clearly communicate that CHIPS was a raunchy comedy in the vein of "American Pie" and "Porky's." So that's exactly what we did. We developed poster lines and social posts, among other activations. But my favorite was an experiential idea for South By Southwest, where we created an "R" rated, cop-themed donut shop (because policemen like donuts of course). It was called the "D Hole," and well, it wasn't exactly Dunkin' Donuts. We also created fake tickets that CHIPS-attired actors handed out to SXSW attendees for infractions such as "Fleeing the scene of a babe" and "Failure to fail a sobriety test."
Strategy: The ultimate puzzle solver is also the world's greatest puzzle.
Central to The Accountant is a character (Ben Affleck) and story driven by duality. By leveraging the power of paradox, we sought to engage our audience at every touchpoint, making The Accountant unmissable and creating curiosity and conversation. Our goal was to create experiences that left our audience asking questions only seeing the movie can answer. Among other activations, we developed an escape room filled with clues related to Affleck's motivations and secret persona. We also created online advertising that brought this duality to life.
A couple of lines I wrote for Justice League and King Arthur that ended up being global power lines. “Hope Never Dies” became hand-painted murals in major metro areas, among other placements across the country and globally. BTW: I thought the King Arthur was actually a pretty good film. I wish the rest of the moviegoing public thought the same.
From power line to Snapchat lens...