February 11, 2015
Joe Rickett, founder of indie studio American Film Company, believes that movie marketers have been slow to adopt the direct digital sales techniques that have begun showing some success, and are generally of low comparable cost to e-commerce marketers. Rickett has positioned his indie studio to experiment with digital low cost marketing to sell a WWII survival movie titled “Against the Sun,” which had a limited theatrical release and was recently made available on VOD.
According to The New York Times, American Film Company has brought on DigitasLBi, a digital marketing firm with relatively no film experience to oversee the campaign for “Against the Sun.”
The marketing campaign “is intended to enhance the impact of dollars spent by focusing on transaction-ready buyers with an appetite for World War II dramas like ‘Unbroken,’ ‘Fury’ and ‘The Imitation Game,'” explained Alfred Levitt, chief operating officer at American Film Company.
DigitasLBi has been given an initial $2 million budget, which is significantly less than the tens of millions studios typically spend to market their films. Even before any campaign had been designed, DigitasLBi made an initial contribution to the film by testing different titles with audiences until finally arriving on “Against the Sun.”
As a part of its digital marketing strategy, DigitasLBi targeted the social media networks with an audience most likely to buy a movie like “Against the Sun,” including online hubs for military veterans and military supporters.
On BuzzFeed, users have an option to buy the film at discount following the completion of an open-sea survival quiz. The quiz parallels the movie’s plot of three Navy fliers lost at sea for 34 days. BuzzFeed users that run across the ads for “Against the Sun” will receive a discount to purchase the movie along with a matching donation on their behalf towards supporting an organization for war veterans.