Grossing $97 million domestically for a total of $370 million worldwide, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already proven to be a financial success, despite not having broken any records. While the descent numbers and mixed to negative reviews speak for themselves, there is no doubt that if Sony’s Spider-Man Cinematic Universe continues to generate the same numbers, they will continue to produce more of these movies as they see fit.
But general marketing from a trailer and TV standpoint is one thing, there is also the viral aspect. Social media, websites, and smart phone apps were just some of the tools used to help market the film. Hit the jump to see what our thoughts were on it.
The budget for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was around $225 million, and according to Deadline Sony had spent $185-$190 million on marketing alone. So you would expect with that kind of coin that you would see a lot of trailers, ads, social media promotion, etc. And we did. In addition to those ads, there was also the worldwide promotional tour, which is something we should be more accustomed to now a days. One of the biggest aspects of the tour, aside from the one we see just before the release was the SDCC promotion. This is Sony’s meat of the SDCC panel, where film star Andrew Garfield and Jamie Foxx talked about their characters, and a whole lot of footage was revealed to get fans excited for the May release. There was also the cross promotion with the United States Postal Service. But that was nothing when compared to the Super Bowl ad that ran during the Super Bowl XLVIII early this year. There was also the Electro attacks Time Square clip that was revealed during the New Year’s Eve festivities on ABC.
Other adds included the Evian Baby ad, which took in about 17 million views on Youtube. The cute ad featured Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man webslining through the streets of New York, taking a drink of Evain, and seeing a baby Spidey reflection of himself when he finished the bottle.
There was also the fun Late Night show promotional stops. One video saw Emma Stone in a Lip Sync Battle against Jimmy Fallon, that got about 17 million views. That video overshadowed Andrew Garfield’s singing the Spider-Man theme song, which only has 800,000 views.
So as you can see, there was a lot of cross promotions. But there were also a couple of websites to help fans of Spider-Man and Viral marketing interested. One of the biggest forms of the viral marketing campaign was the Daily Bugle Tumblr blog. The faux newspaper website served link that bridged the gap between the two films, and sometimes acted like a trolling website for introducing villains and other characters. There were also opinion pieces, reports on OsCorp, big name interviews, technological advancements, and Dr. Curt Conners trial reports. There were reports that even made connections to movie trailers that were released during the campaign.
Another marketing website that was launched was the ElectroArrives, which eventually turned into the Enemies Unite page. The ElectroArrives started out by focusing on Electro himself, and counted down to the New Year’s Eve clip. However, when it was announced that there would be more villains, and a Sinister Six, the site was revamped into Enemies Unite, which would countdown to the New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl clip.
Turning our attention to the social media world, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t have their any individual accounts, instead the marketing team built upon what they had and continued to use the same Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts that have been already established. Their twitter account has a 217K following, and if you followed the film, you would have noticed an increase of the Twitter handle favoring the positive reviews from fans who saw the film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 official Facebook account followed the same mold by building on what they already have. According to the film’s page numbers, they have 9.9 million followers with about 1 million people talking about the film on their page. We’ve seen how the numbers don’t necessarily coincide with each other, but for it to be that distant from each other is a bit shocking. Still these numbers can change in a minute-by-minute or hour-by-hour basis, so today’s numbers could have been different from yesterday’s numbers.
Now the trailer and clip numbers that were released on youtube speak volumes. The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s first trailer, which was released back in December, currently has 31 million views. If that doesn’t scream viral, than I don’t know what does. Both Super Bowl ads have nearly 2 million views under their belt, which is pretty good considering that it was released back in February, and that they both have a run time of about 30 seconds or less. But the Super Bowl trailer, or the Enemies Unite sizzle reel as the marketing team tagged, has 4 million views. Again, the numbers are only attributed to the fact that people actually took the effort to see what EnemiesUnite was all about, as opposed to a simple trailer which would get more views. A second trailer was released, but as you may surmise, those numbers dwindled, and by the time the it came around to the release of the final trailer, the numbers dropped sharply. The numbers for the final trailer only amounts to 7 million, but it doesn’t nearly have the same amount of time spent on the web as the first trailer does, so let’s take that into consideration.
However it doesn’t end with Social Media. To help promote the film, and the song “It’s On Again” By Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar, Sony encouraged fans to use the smart phone song identifier app Shazam. Not only would it help you tell what song it is, but it took fans to a landing page where it asked fans to “Look closely for plans of a SINISTER FUTURE.” Clicking on the page revealed six images of signature weapons and/or tools that relate to Spider-Man’s great villains, which hinted at the Sinister Six. Now Sony could have gone the traditional route by revealing all of it during an end credits sequence, and they almost did by revealing three key pieces of weaponry, but this was an interesting approach to reveal the possible team. But it’s a tiny bit sad on the other hand because the studio is A: encouraging you to use your phone during a film – even if it is the end credits; B: the studio didn’t even consider what if people don’t have shazam on their phone/heard of the app/have a smart phone; C: even if they have the Shazam, will they bother to use it?
There was also an Earth Day cross promotion to show that Spider-Man not only thinks green, but also brought a much bigger concern than being number one at the box office to people’s attention.
Another interesting to take into consideration was the news story of Emma Stone chastising her real-life boyfriend Andrew Garfield about how Spider-Man is a bit of a feminine because he was able to make his own suit, because apparently that’s what females do. Of course I, nor Stone believe that, but the news didn’t seem to hurt the box office returns.
Overall, it was an interesting viral marketing campaign. With a nine figure budget in marketing, you’d better put that into good use, and for Sony, it looks like it did. Too bad I can’t say the same about the movie itself.
Viral Marketing Grade: