Muppets Most Wanted wasn’t the film that Disney was hoping it would be. Getting second place at the box office last weekend isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but earning only $17 million at the box office when compared to Divergent’s strong $54.7 million is glaringly obvious.
Which is contrast to the fun, interactive, and very engaging viral marketing that for Muppets Most Wanted. Hit the jump to read our review.
One of the first Muppets Most Wanted viral marketing bits started with a phone number that could be seen on the first few trailers for the film. The phone number was a play on calling a faux talent agency – which was actually a faux business in the film – that was led by Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais). The call would tell you to head to a website that was actually a contest where the winner would get to walk the Muppets Most Wanted red carpet premiere in LA. A fun simple viral campaign, especially since they were using active phone numbers.
It would be a few more months until we saw the viral marketing campaign really drive it home. Using the Muppets’ theme of being meta, TV spots and internet spots poked fun at some of the unnecessary social media hype for a film that has not been released yet. For instance the spot below poked fun at Twitter users promoting a film that hasn’t been released, the Twitter bots, and Twitter arguements. The best thing about this TV spot was that the twitter handles seen, were actual Twitter handles created by the marketing team.
That video has 982,000+ views, which is pretty good considering it was released back in early January.
There is also an Outrage video which has 2.5 million views, a game day spot which has 737,000 views, and a Right Now and Let It Go Review which both have 100,000 views.
The trailers are a different story though. The official teaser trailer which was released back in August 2013 has a nice 1 million views, closing in on 2 million. The official trailer has 1.5 million.
Super Bowl spots are reserved for some of the best viral marketing films around, and Muppets Most Wanted was no exception. Not only did they release a new trailer, but they also had the Toyota ad campaign tied into it. So it was a double dose of Muppet madness.
On the social media pages, there isn’t an official Facebook page for Muppets Most Wanted, however there is a page for the Muppets themselves, which is actually a page that is promoting the film. That page has 6 million views with 263,000 people talking about this. While it does have more followers than Divergent’s 1,357,550 likes, Divergent has more people talking about the film (at least based on FB’s numbers) which is at 598,879.
Like the Facebook page itself, the Muppets Most Wanted twitter page is actually just a page from The Muppets, however it has 202K followers. And just like the Muppets themselves, the Twitter page acts as though the Muppets are real and self-aware. Very meta, very fun.
Other aspects for the Muppets Most Wanted viral campaign include satirizing the spy theme of the film with parodying some of the greatest spy films like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Skyfall, and more. Again, this aspect of the campaign was a play on how meta the Muppets are. Very meta, very fun.
A UK website focused on the film’s evil criminal mastermind and Kermit doppelganger Constantine, went almost unnoticed. They also had youtube videos specifically designed for the site itself, so if you saw it on YouTube you may not have understood what the heck was going on.
Finally, let’s talk about the music video. Bret McKenzie return to help scene as the music supervisor for the film, by creating all of the film’s songs. Each song covered some of sort of generation of music in Hollywood or the industry itself. The Sequel Song covered those MGM grand opening musical numbers, while the music video for I’ll Get You Anything You Want covered the 80s and was an obvious play on music artists like Lionel Ritchie and Toto.
There was a lot of things to like about the marketing campaign itself, however critics weren’t as receptive to the film even though it has near a 77% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A $17 opening weekend isn’t the kind of numbers you would like to see, especially with such a great campaign, and unforuntately that will have an effect on how this film is graded.