Brand: The Departed (Warner Brothers/Time Warner)
Execution: TV, Print
Link: Click here
Target: Drama fans
Television spots for the Martin Scorsese film “The Departed” starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Leonardo DiCaprio.Â This review deals with the sponsorship of the premier episode of “Smith” with Ray Liotta on CBS.
These spots are trailers for the release of the much-anticipated movie “The Departed” from director Martin Scorcese.Â They are well executed but there is nothing unusual about them.Â What is more interesting is Warner Brother’s decision to buy out the entire premier episode of the new CBS drama Smith.
Instead of presenting the premier of Smith as being sponsored with “limited commercial interruption” a by ‘The Departed,’ the Smith episode was billed in this manner: ‘the following is brought to you by Warner Brothers pictures ‘The Departed’ in Theaters October 6th.’Â Moreover this announcement was made not before the beginning of Smith but after the opening sequence which lasted several minutes.
It does appear that Warner Brother sponsored limited commercial interruption for Smith.Â The Departed was the only product advertised on Smith and the commercial breaks were shorter and less frequent.
This advertising blog supports this type of unusual media placement.Â The Departed needs all of the focused attention it can get with its premier just weeks away.Â Sponsoring the entire premier of Smith and limiting the frequency and length of commercial breaks made the repeat showing of ‘Departed’ trailers less annoying than it might have been otherwise.Â And the likelihood of creating urgency with the core audience for the film is good.Â There is an excellent subject match between ‘Smith’ (where a high-end thief played by Ray Liotta is the protagonist) and ‘The Departed’ (with Jack Nicholson playing a mob boss).Â There is also similarity between a television premier and the release of a new movie in that they’ll both attract the most motivated viewers first.Â Spending a concentrated block of money against this target on Smith was a good bet.
There is a real risk to running a movie trailer six times in a single hour.Â Warner Brothers compounded this risk by opting not to make a bigger deal of the fact that ‘Smith’ was being sponsored with limited interruption by ‘The Departed.’Â The risk paid off, but we’d hate to place odds on another movie pulling this off successfully.
Branding Bottom Line:
Television sponsored by the movies.Â Could this be a new ad model?