VIDEO: Schwarzenegger Campaign Breaks Through
A New Bag of Tricks for Terminator Genisys
When Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back,” he wasn’t kidding…again and again and again. The Terminator franchise is now over 30 years old (relatively ancient as these things go) and on its fifth movie of the series, Terminator Genisys, which was released July 1, 2015.
With a significant amount of time elapsing between each installation, it’s always a challenge to maintain buzz and excitement around characters and storylines that may have faded from viewers’ memories since the last movie. Typically, movie promotion consists of trailers seen on TV, in the pre-roll segment of DVDs or online video, and in movie theaters—as well as through display ads on popular websites and in sponsored social media content.
But in this age of ad bombardment, marketers need to go off-script to break through the noise and reach audiences. Let’s look at how Terminator Genisys marketers are handling the challenge of appealing to new fans and drawing back long-time followers in the notoriously competitive summer movie market.
Naturally, a Terminator marketing campaign would be remiss in not fully utilizing the franchise’s iconic star Arnold Schwarzenegger. But instead of (or, more accurately, in addition to) the typical promotional appearances like The View and The Tonight Show, Schwarzenegger has appeared in a viral video where he pranks fans and winningly displays humor and charm.
Check out this hilarious video of Schwarzenegger posing as himself at the famous Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and walking the streets in full T-800 garb and makeup, to the surprise and delight of fans. As People.com says, “How many other opportunities will you have in your life to see the Terminator a) use a selfie stick, and b) offer an Arnold impersonator tips on how to do the job better?”
The genius of the video (with almost 23 million views) is that it isn’t directly promoting the movie but it has greater impact than a traditional movie trailer. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, we love to see celebrities out and about among the ordinary people. Celebrities interacting with people in everyday situations boosts their likeability and helps audiences relate to them, translating to ticket sales.
People like to see Schwarzenegger come off as “real,” and like to see him doing “comedy.” It not only subtly promotes the movie, but gives Arnold’s reputation a lift after suffering blows in recent years with the news of his love-child and subsequent divorce.
Marketers are always stretching for something new and different to reach audiences. And audiences across demographics are looking for content that is unexpected and adds value (in this case makes them laugh). When a promotional campaign is concocts that secret sauce, the result is full movie theaters and brand converts.
If you can’t get enough of Arnold, here he is in another viral video posing as a slightly creepy trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice, CA to promote the After-School All-Stars program: “Quit being a baby. This is Gold’s Gym, not a baby gym!”
Viral or not? What do you think?
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