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  • Writer's pictureHenry M Green

US and UK Film Marketing

This part of the unit has been incredibly interesting to me because we have been able to identify key aspects of what sells a film to its audience and how it does this. More notable the amount of sheer surprises I encountered when researching different films and their promotional content. This is because good films don’t necessarily do well in the box office and vice versa, it depends on how well their marketing team put together there strategy for grasping the audience.

Researching, Avatar by James Cameron, was extremely insightful because I remember when I was seven going to see Avatar at the cinema, being the first 3D film I ever saw as well. However, what Avatar did so well was sell the innovation and craftsmanship behind the film through its promotional content. Since then it has laid down the fundamental elements of the 21st century marketing campaign that almost every film since has adapted. This being the use of social media and online presence, but also selling the film by being the first film to show a live broadcast of the premier and also a live Q&A with the stars of the film and James Cameron himself.

From the UK film industry the current highest independent british film is The King’s Speech. At first I wasn’t particularly interested in this film but by researching its promotional content it has made me aware of the importance of paying close attention to the target audience. After the release of Avatar and their role in using social media to promote the film to a wider audience. It sparked the momentum of the industry to adopt this new tool. However, The King’s Speech didn’t do this. That being because the target audience for the film was towards the older generation. More importantly, the older generation, still value going to the cinema over watching a film on Netflix or Amazon Prime. With huge recognition it got from showing at various film festivals, and close media attention from broadsheet newspapers, it was obvious it was going to be a hit. These factors along with sticking closely to marketing to the specific target audience is what propelled the film to do as well as it did.

Comparing the UK and US film industries was both surprising and informative. However, in the way the film posters are conducted and looking at the overall genre of film that is popular in both countries, it is clear there is a stark difference between the two. In the UK, drama and real life historical stories, are the most popular whereas in US action, thriller, and superhero films take most of the earnings for the industry. However, US action films are also incredibly popular in the UK as well, but the UK film industry does not have the budget to spend two hundred million pounds on a film because films are often funded by either the bfi, the national lottery film fund or by private companies such as film 4 or working title. Most often, films in the UK are made by doing a US/UK co-production, this often means that the film’s production company is british however the film is distributed by an american company in the most often case 20th Century Fox.

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