marketing for ‘the martian’

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Marketing for The Martian

Marketing for The MartianBy Sophie Rudd 12ALS.

Online videos the power of going viral.When researching the marketing for 'The Martian', the first example I came across used digital technology to market the film and create an intrigue for an extremely wide audience.

- this example comes from a video which has gone viral across virtually all social media platforms (i.e; Facebook, Twitter and even Pinterest) - it is a video which appears initially as an advert for the film, but it is actually a video containing all the stars from the film (such as Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain) in complete character mode. It is a video of Matt Damon's character taking us around this ship which will be heading to Mars and he introduces to all his fellow crew members. - Ultimately, this video gives audiences an insight into what they can expect from the movie, and this helps to create a buzz about the film by reaching out to a wide audience - the video went viral across social media. - As the video progresses, it also has little pop-ups of members of the public watching this video titled "Ares 3: Farewell" and their messages, with hash tags about the film and the journey to mars these characters will take. - this means that the video spreads even more - people can share it with friends, and more and more people feel excited about the prospect of seeing this movie.

The webpage of which I found this video on also refers to a similar video used in the process of marketing 'Prometheus' - a film by Ridley Scott, who also directed 'The Martian'. - this video similarly contained one of the stars of 'Prometheus' - Michael Fassbender - and he too was in full character mode; highlighting like "Ares 3: Farewell" the context of 'Prometheus': the progression of mankind into a new technological age, where robots are the new servants of humanity, but their progression is of much wider context then the human race understand. - What this suggests is that Ridley Scott believes strongly in the use of such marketing techniques. - the video for 'Prometheus' went viral, maybe with that knowledge in mind, it was a key reason to create a similar video for 'The Martian'.

Social Media platforms'The Martian' also has it's own official Twitter page (@MartianMovie) with 30.1K followers. And with the knowledge that Twitter currently has 15 million active users; so this number isn't a large percentage of Twitter users, but compared to the films official Facebook page - there are 556, 252 people who like that page - and 31 million Facebook users in the UK; still not an incredibly large percentage. However, as more people followed the film on Facebook, it gives an insight into who the target audience is for the film; on Twitter, 2/3rds of users are aged under 34. Whereas on Facebook, only 26% belong to the 25-34 age gap. So this suggests that 'The Martian' attracts an older audience.

But what is interesting between the official Twitter and Facebook pages for 'The Martian' is the chosen backgrounds. On their Twitter page background, it informs a user that 'The Martian' has had 7 Academy Award nominations (including 'Best Picture', 'Best Actor' and 'Best Adapted Screenplay'), and has also won two Golden Globes ('Best Actor' - Matt Damon and 'Best Picture - Musical or Comedy'). This information is not supplied by the Facebook page.Also, the fact that 'The Martian' has won awards and is up for awards as a comedy has caused a stir amongst followers of the film: it has become a marketing technique in itself as it has caused intrigue for an audience as to how a film about a man abandoned on Mars and left to fight for his life (quite a 'drama' storyline) which is also a sci-fi movie can be classed as a comedy.

Interestingly enough, 'The Martian' also has an official Instagram page. But when one observes the statistics for Instagram users, it is clear that the younger generations dominate this social media platform; more so then other platforms with 100 million active users every month - and 34% are aged 18-24/33% aged 25-34. Also, with 40 million posts a day, 8'500 likes and 1000 comments per second, this appears the perfect way to gain the attention and create a buzz over a film. Yet, when we look back at previous marketing amongst social media pages, it appears as if 'The Martian' is mostly aimed at adults. But then the use of online videos which have spread virally across the Internet, it can be said that this film does indeed attract a much wider age demographic then simply one category.

Digital Marketing through apps

In addition, the marketing campaign through the use of digital technologies for this film also comes in the form of an official game. It is titled 'The Martian: The Official Game' and is based on another gaming app called 'Lifeline' - which is also based on the film for 'The Martian'. Ultimately, this gaming app could be seen as a form of VRG, as the premise of the game puts user in the shoes of the main character (Mark Watney - played by Matt Damon) and experience the struggles he faces in his fight for survival. The game is also free to download on any phones, tablets etc. So this could be seen as a digital marketing technique once again aimed at a younger target audience; the generation who are seen as using phones and devices more then their parents (referring back to Twitter - 80% of users use the app on their phones, so does that mean more young people of today's generation are likely to use this app?)

How did they do it?

Finally, there are several articles which reveal how 'The Martian' was created in terms of VFX. One such article I clicked on has a YouTube video attached which breaks down just how the characters were made to appear on the surface of Mars etc. This is a key marketing technique using online platforms to target the audience members interested in the technical side of making such a film; as well as those who find the whole prospect of travelling to Mars, and answering the question of whether there is actually life on Mars very interesting and an enigma they enjoy witnessing in a film.

The Martian Visual Effects: What Was Real and What Wasn't?


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