Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Promoting the Three Dee Cartoons

DreamWorks Animation marketing chief Anne Globe explains to Forbes magazine about weaving DWA's CGI features into the hearts and minds of the movie-going public. Says Anne:

"We get involved very early on conceptually, even before a project is greenlit, just as far as being aware of what's coming and what the overall brand message will be. Our mission here is to build franchises and brands. We're always looking toward things we can do theatrically but in other places as well. On the marketing side our goal is to create something new and different every time out. ...

The landscape of 3-D has changed dramatically in the past year ... We feel confident we'll have our fair share of screens because there are twice as many 3-D screens available as there were when Monsters vs. Aliens came out. That should position us going forward. Plus we have a deal with Imax for the movie to play there a little longer than a month.

Our marketing budget has stayed the same at around $150 million to $175 million per film ... Our online budget has probably doubled. We're doing more with Facebook and Twitter and creating apps. Plus we've seen some economies on the broadcast side so some of the ad rates there have become more affordable.

You can do so much more online now with video and interactive ads and things that are uniquely targeted ...

Promotional costs for big films (hell, even small films) are not cheap. Where once there were some television and radio buys, and some kind of print and billboard campaigns, now media flows into almost every nook and cranny of our multi-layered American media.

There's network and local teevee. There's cable. There's newspapers and magazines, facebook and interactive websites and everything else on the internet. There's outdoor displays and television specials and promotion tours and toy tie-ins. There is, in short, almost everything under the sun, and it all costs m-o-n-e-y.

Back at the dawn of time, big movies had different release patterns. Instead of a 3,000 screen release, the high-budget specatculars were platformed into one theater at "road show" prices (meaning you bought tickets on a "reserved seat" basis), and big hit pictures could play one theater for six months to a year. When I was a lad in knickers, my parents took me to see Lawrence of Arabia playing at one huge Hollywood theater, and it was a major deal. After playing there for a year of eighteen months, it got rolled out to smaller theaters around town and you got to see it at "popular prices," where it would circulate for another six months.

Advertising costs were a lot cheaper then. A few newspaper ads, a commercial on channel five, and BOOM, the big promotional push was complete. Which explains why films had to gross considerably less in 1962 to get into the black.

Life is just more complicated and expensive now, innit?


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