NBCUniversal's effort to sell advertising to movie studios
is creating a starring role for its movie-ticket selling website Fandango.
In a campaign starting Monday for Summit Entertainment's
film Red 2, starring Bruce Willis,
John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Hopkins and
Helen Mirren, customized clips of original video shot for the movie website
will appear during commercial breaks in theatrical films broadcast on cable
channels USA, Syfy and E!. Views will be urged to buy tickets online via Fandango.
Red 2 opens July 19.
The Comcast-owned entertainment company has been pushing its
multiplatform capabilities for all marketers. In March, it met with movie
studios to share research it had done that showed that people who watch movies
on TV are more like to attend movies in theaters, and go during a film's
opening weekend, said John Shea, executive VP and chief marketing officer, integrated
media entertainment and digital networks/integrated media, NBCUniversal.
NBCU also said it could weave parts of the NBCU portfolio in
new ways to help studios reach both broad audiences as well as more targeted
audiences for particular films.
"A very important part of the portfolio conversation with
the studios was really integrating Fandango more aggressively into the overall
partnerships we can create," Shea said.
At the time, Fandango was investing in creating original
digital video. It hired entertainment reporter Dave Karger to act as its online
host for Web shows including Weekend
Ticket, which talks about the movies coming up and what to see over the
weekend. On the show, Karger interviews movie stars and goes behind the scenes
of the film productions.
With the Red 2
campaign, for the first time, Fandango's Weekend
Ticket Web show will air during commercial time on the NBCU cable channels.
Shea said that segment openings will be customized for each network, as will
the content, which consists of 60-second clips from the original three-minute Red 2 segment on Weekend Ticket.
On E!, the segment will be female focused, featuring clips
from an interview with Mirren and footage of Zeta-Jones. The segment on Syfy is
designed to satisfy that network's appetite for behind-the-scenes footage and "how
did they do that?" stories about the film's stunts. On USA, the content
emphasizes the star-studded nature of the film's ensemble cast.
At the end of all the packages, there is a call to drive viewers
to Fandango to buy tickets to Red 2.
"We were looking for an innovative way to break through the
summer clutter and highlight the incredible cast of Red 2, and NBCUniversal and Fandango were ideal partners with whom
to explore some of these fresh initiatives," Summit president of worldwide marketing
Nancy Kirkpatrick said in a statement. "This promotion provided us with
the perfect opportunity to reach moviegoers through the largest online
ticketing site and a suite of targeted networks."
Shortly after Comcast acquired control of NBC Universal, the
company put its combined assets behind the launch of Universal films including Despicable Me and Fast and Furious. Now it is making its "symphony" approach
available to other marketers.
When Shea worked at Viacom's MTV, he often put together
content packages for movie studio ad clients, but he said NBCU offers more
marketing muscle. "NBCU has a much bigger portfolio of screens to work with,"
he said. And with Fandango, "no one else has the ability to close that loop and
create a buy that ticket now urgency and really put the butts in the seats that