To publicise the upcoming ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’, the re-booted science-fiction franchise set to be released later this summer, 20th Century Fox have been promoting the film using a great deal of digital avenues. Is digital advertising the best way for films to market themselves?
The new Planet of the Apes film has ensured a saturation of all available digital channels to help raise awareness of the upcoming film. The brilliant thing about digital is that, for the most part, it is free. Facebook is free to set-up. As is Twitter. As is YouTube. Creating applications, skins, tabs and new layouts for these channels is also relatively cheap and can normally be done by just one digital agency. Moreover, a single agency can also monitor these three sites to produce content on a daily basis.
On Twitter, for example, the hashtag #apeswillrise is being used to promote the movie and has become a Trending Topic on the site on more than one occasion. This kind of organic conversation being nurtured and monitored by social media is surely a positive way to get the word out about a product – especially a new film. Follow the conversation on the official twitter site here.
The Facebook page for the film is of a very high standard. It connects directly to the official YouTube and Twitter accounts, uses the ‘Photo’ tab to post concept art, and promotional material, has a live-stream for the special effects experts WETA and has a growing discussion board for their 54,000+ users. ‘Like’ the film on Facebook to see more great features here.
The official YouTube channel is where things get the most interesting. It was set-up on 8th April 2011, a little over 3 months ago, where the very first video clip was uploaded – a five-second medium-close-up of Caesar, the computer generated chimp and at the centre of the story.
The clip spread across blogs and forums online and prompted users to check back over the weeks as more content was added such as a thirty-minute behind the scenes look at the special effects used on the film, the story the lines the picture as well as the latest trailers uploaded in 1080p HD. Take a look at the ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ YouTube channel here.
The most watched and talked about aspect of the marketing campaign for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ is the fake research footage. The almost completely unbranded videos, totalling 6 as of today, feature extremely well made footage of apes (superbly created by WETA) showing frightening displays of human behaviour. These videos have become viral with one of the videos, ‘Ape with AK-47’ having received in excesses of 8 million views in just one week. Two days ago, a new advert parodying the recent ‘Carmageddon’ situation in Los Angeles, USA was uploaded showing an army of chimpanzees with spears standing over the highway preparing to attack. The twitter hashtag #apeswillrise is spray-painted underneath them.
These videos would have been fairly cheap to make and would arguably pay for themselves as they are spread around the web and, thus, spread the message of the movie. 20th Century Fox’s name is featured at the bottom of the videos and the ‘Apes Will Rise’ channel features some spooky monkey eyes as the channel icon so users will (hopefully) realise what the videos are for.
I believe that digital strategies such as these are excellent for creating an underground buzz about a film although I do wish that this particular campaign had started earlier. For something to become ‘viral’, time is needed and the want to interact and share is a vital necessity. Many companies create ‘virals’, crowning them as such before they even have a chance to become viral. The phrase itself is banded about a lot in recent times with the execution very rarely fulfilling the title it is given. However, this is where I believe the digital campaign for ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ succeeds. It is a well thought-out and thorough design that is sure to create even more buzz as the weeks leading up to the films release go by. All the viral videos are shown below so have a look through and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Chimp Plays Fist Person Shooter
Gorilla Walks Upright
Chimp Beats Human: Intelligence Test
Ape with AK-47
Chimp with Machete
Apes Reacting to LA’s Carmageddon