Our mission was to create buzz around the UK release of The Lobster, the first English language movie directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, a quirky Arthouse Blockbuster with an all-star ensemble cast including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Olivia Colman, Lea Seydoux and many more.
Synopsis - "In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods."
Our campaign was developed with the aim of:
- Building intrigue around The Lobster's unique concept
- Drawing on the film's dark comedic elements, in order to generate social conversations
- Establishing the release as the next big Arthouse Blockbuster
To promote this unique and darkly humorous film we focused on the key themes highlighted by the director, allowing us to subtly educate users to the story without giving spoilers, and to build genuine interest and intrigue. We split the campaign into two main sections:
- Intrigue - To build interest in the film in the weeks before release we developed a campaign that focused on one key scene from the film; 'Man Eats Alone'. This scene demonstrates to the characters the potential perils and pitfalls of being single, and generally how much better life is when you are in a couple. In the world of the film, being single isn't an option, you are either in a relationship, or you are turned into an animal and released into the woods! We created a series of social content pieces to be used cross platform that would provide some fun, quirky and occasionally dark examples of propaganda that could appear in public places. The content plan was developed around key partnerships with the BFI and Film4 who seeded the material through their own channels in support of the fledgling brand channels. The content was incredibly well received by fans across social channels for the BFI, Film4 and The Lobster, providing a great talking point for social and a place for users to share from and start their own debates around the emotive themes in the film.
- Excite - When explaining the concept of the film, the thing that really gets a reaction from people is the idea that if you are single you will be taken to a room and changed into an animal. To add to this peril, you also have to choose which animal you would like to be! To excite cinema-goers we put them in the place of the characters and asked them what they would be if they had to choose. We gave them some help by creating a dark & dangerous quiz that starts off restrained and ends with some evocative questions that really get to the heart of the user's psyche. Our quiz then recommends which animal you should choose and provides a handy sharing asset allowing you to brag about being a Bear or congratulate yourself on being a Cat. Trouble is - none of the answers are correct and no matter what option you choose, we tell you what terrible fate awaits you after your transformation! You can take the quiz at: www.lobsterfilmquiz.co.uk. We had great fun with the creative copywriting, taking a swipe at the status quo and ensuring that we kept our users on their toes!
The two main activations were supported by a full content plan including trailers, clips, photography, cast profiles, review spotlights, fan feedback and red carpet content throughout the launch period.
Our campaign was well received by cinema-goers across the UK, with 75,000 quiz users within the first week, tens of thousands of shares across social channels and fantastic engagement across all channels. The quiz was picked up by a number of publications and provided a great PR boost for the film, generating conversation online and driving users through to watch the trailer and eventually book tickets.
We received great engagement throughout, but were particularly pleased with the performance of our illustrated posts featuring 'flat pack style' instructions for users that saw great conversations sparked by their challenging content taking a cheeky swipe at relationship norms.
The film performed very well off the back of a successful campaign - debuting in the UK in ninth place in the box office chart, despite releasing on only 75 screens, and delivering an excellent £230,000 over the first weekend. Yorgos Lanthimos's previous best in the UK was 'Dogtooth' (subtitled), which grossed £180,000 over its theatrical run.
Video for The Lobster - Digital Activation