26 January 2017 5590 Views

Logan and Lion: Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are making viral campaigns sexy again

by James Murphy

Want to meet Nicole Kidman? Want to see more of Hugh ‘Wolverine/Logan’ Jackman?

Good. Because those treats are being offered in a renaissance in viral marketing. Granted, it’s mainly contests /teasers, rather than genuine commitment to all out viral marketing. But it’s close to the old school viral set-ups, fused to our new use of social media and a generally charitable and pastoral mindset, plus endless curiosity for fresh content in an era of seemingly endless trailers before a film’s release.


Let’s have a look..

With LOGAN , fans have been invited, from the start of this year, to unveil the shots of a trailer. Is it novelty? Of course! Is it viral? Well, yes and no. No in so far as this is not ‘in character’ marketing as some of the previous X Men films have tried. But yes in that it invites interaction and generates a curiosity that goes beyond a simple ‘here is your trailer now wait til the final movie’ method.

There is a sense of interaction, education and engendering cinematic literacy here. That, frankly, can only be a ‘good’ thing. It certainly repels the notion that social media and internet marketing are in any way harming creative curiosities or education about cinematic storytelling. This demands an attention to detail and a recurring investment by visitors in building content, whilst still entertaining their curiosities about the movie and the brand.


Hugh Jackman has himself helped things by hinting that LOGAN is not based within the canon of the existing X Men universe. That, in turn, feeds further, a sense of dialogue among the fans. Is this like a James Bond situation of using the same tropes and personnel but existing as a soft reboot in a way with each episode?

Is it a breakaway from that other X Men universe but still allowing for a connection thereto, a bit like Days of Future Past? Is Jackman just teasing us? How does this fit with 20th Century Fox’s plans to x-pand the brand to television? Could this allow for a cameo by Jackman;s Wolverine in DEADPOOL 2 or even..an actual Marvel Cinematic Universe film with Iron Man and co, despite his nominally retiring from the role?

Endless possibilities. And that is the tone they have gone from since the launch of the movie’s marketing: LOGAN is whatever you wish it to be and you cannot second guess that feeling until you see it next month. I’d call that a successful campaign, no? Meantime, here is that final trailer in all its glory, including a strangely meta-textual moment with an X Men comic book!


Onto LION, which stars Nicole Kidman (Hugh’s co-star in a 2008 film called AUSTRALIA). Mark Kermode has noted the film’s Spielberg like qualities, especially the depiction of childrens’ curiosities and vulnerabilities yet imaginative resolve to survive.

It’s a good role for Nicole and she shows her chameleon like qualities : one change in her hair and it’s like watching a different person. Goodbye, glacial glamour..hello earthy reality..and she can morph back again for her next part.

Nicole is spearheading the viral marketing campaign for LION. it ties to a charitable initiative. It’s a newly emerging and effective, popular model in movie marketing. Make a donation to a charity and thereby win a possibility of meeting your most beloved actor.

If you do not win?  Your money was valued and went to a cause that is worthy and beyond the world of the film yet connected to the pastoral heart of its intentions. If you DO win? Blimey. Getting to meet NICOLE KIDMAN!! Personally, I’d be honoured, thrilled, speechless (for a split second) and tempted to pitch her every film idea I have til she says ‘yes’ to one of them. I’d bring her some chocolates, too. Win her over with my unique charm. Keith Urban and Tom Cruise have nothing on me.



Ok, maybe not. But see what just happened? I daydreamed for a abit; based on a campaign; connected to a film; whose good will is now palpably clearer because of its charitable intentions and willingness of the actors to put themselves out for greater good.

And besides, I did watch the lady perform live on stage in Sam Mendes’ production of BLUE ROOM at the Donmar Warehouse, back in 1998. Sadly I was in the seat where I got to see Iain Glen rather than Nic in the nudey..but she was, I can assure you, as lovely and talented on stage as she is onscreen. And seeing that was a privilege in itself. Still want to meet her, though.. 😉

Moving on..quite fast..

So the ‘viral’ dimensions here are less about selling a film solely (though yes that is part of it, no question) as planting an idea for charitable action and awareness and fostering conversation and creativity. And that, dear reader, can only be a very good thing..


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