Bridget Jones’ Diary And Love Actually Marketing Compressed


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Bridget Jones’ Diary And Love Actually Marketing Compressed

  1. 1. BRIDGET JONES’ DIARY (Sharon Maguire, 2001) a Working Title (co-) production + a wee bit of Love Actually, actually
  2. 2. Note-Taking <ul><li>There is a huge amount of detail in what follows. This Powerpoint will appear on the blog so you need not write down each and every point. </li></ul><ul><li>What you do need to do is to pick out some details to use for your exam revision, looking especially to find points that you can link in with wider arguments about how British Cinema works </li></ul>
  3. 3. WT’s Track Record on Marketing: MBL <ul><li>The marketing campaign for MBL was a touch confused, hiding the homosexual aspect whilst highlighting the comedy within the social realist drama (and failing subsequently on DVD cover designs to make best use of the names of Frears and Day-Lewis), tho’ brave in including the race issue prominently in the US trailer. </li></ul><ul><li>The trailer made heavy use of the exaggerated ‘bubbling’ sound again to emphasise the comedy angle, with a US trade mag ad using a day-glo, cartoon style image to ensure that this, and not the social realism, was the key impression made </li></ul>
  4. 4. WT’s Track Record on Marketing: Elizabeth <ul><li>Elizabeth was a brave film from the start: using an Indian director unfamiliar with the historical period and an unknown lead in Cate Blanchett (who again became a star after getting her break with WT) – though of course it did neatly match the non-domestic audience’s fascination with the UK’s castles, kings and queens heritage. </li></ul><ul><li>Its extensive poster campaign highlighted Elizabeth as a tough female character, in sharp contrast to a comparable TV mini-series, 2005’s C4/HBO co-production starring Helen Mirren. Publicity for this, at least in the US, lead on the romantic angle, with Mirren pictured sitting on bed wearing a bodice highlighting her cleavage (male gaze, though with Jeremy Irons pictured beside her for the core female audience!) whilst Blanchett is pictured horseback in armour. </li></ul><ul><li>The teaser campaign used close-ups of the four main characters in turn, leading to a poster bringing these four together (tho DVD releases would focus solely on Blanchett) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Marketing BJD <ul><li>Befitting the status of the international hit book its based upon, the marketing campaign for Bridget Jones’ Diary was complex and high profile, and once more demonstrated how the same film is sold quite differently to UK and US audiences </li></ul><ul><li>We will look at: </li></ul><ul><li>some of the tie-ins with other companies/brands; </li></ul><ul><li>the differing poster and DVD sleeve designs; </li></ul><ul><li>the soundtrack and accompanying music videos; </li></ul><ul><li>plus fan materials on the web that act as a further promotional tool for the movie </li></ul><ul><li>First, though, a run through of the production background </li></ul>
  6. 6. KEY CONCEPT INSTITUTION - production <ul><li>FACTS & FIGURES: </li></ul><ul><li>Co-produced by WT, Studio Canal & Little Bird </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can make points on corporate structure & ownership, drawing on concepts of synergy as a subsidiary (67% owned by NBC-Universal) of a conglomerate from within the ‘Big Six’ , concentration of ownership (1 of Chomsky’s five ‘filters’ in the ‘propaganda model’), the ‘Big Six’ & Hollywood – cultural imperialism (US influence on UK culture, values and identity as well as economic dominance); globalisation and homogeonisation [are audiences worldwide being served up increasingly similar fare across national boundaries; are congloms able to successfully sell in a global film market]? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. KEY CONCEPT INSTITUTION - distribution <ul><li>FACTS & FIGURES: </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed by Miramax Films (USA theatrical) & Universal across all other territories except Brazil (Colombia TriStar), and United International Pictures (Europe) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to previous points, but scope for contrasting with Warp Films’ tie-ins with Optimum Releasing and C4/Film4 </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. KEY CONCEPT INSTITUTION – budget & box office <ul><li>FACTS & FIGURES: </li></ul><ul><li>$26m budget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare to TisEng (£1.5m) etc, link back to corporate structure; stress WT is a giant amongst UK producers due to links to Hollywood (and European co-financing deal with Studio Canal in recent years) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>$72m takings in US box office; £42m in UK </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, comparisons/put in context </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can bring in points about size of US cinema audience, giving stats on typical no. of screens for hit US/UK films, & link to WT’s strategy to build-in cross-over appeal to US auds </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Dyer’s ‘star system’ & above-the-line costs : casting (often A-lister: Julia Roberts, Notting Hill; her salary main cost in that film!) US stars to widen appeal leads to huge rise in costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to marketing/distribution strategies </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. KEY CONCEPT INSTITUTION – auteur theory & critical reception <ul><li>Sharon Maguire has directed (also co-wrote) just one film since: 2008’s romantic-thriller, Incendiary , starring the ubiquitous Ewan McGregor (whose taming of his Scots accent for Star Wars was controversial) </li></ul><ul><li>Although the auteur theory, deriving from French intellectuals’ 1950s Cahiers du Cinema journal, is centred as the director as ‘author’ of a film, any critical acclaim for BJD went to writer Richard Curtis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His WT rom-coms have grossed well over $1bn worldwide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has now directed 2 WT films, evolving from scripting/producer duties: The Boat That Rocked (2009) & Love Actually (2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This identification is reflected in the savage satire of the cartoon (viewed on YouTube) “Curtisland” from the BBC3 sketch show, Monkey Dust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even so, RC’s work is unlikely to ever see him acclaimed as the new Hitchcock… </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. KEY CONCEPT INSTITUTION – auteur theory & critical reception <ul><li>Does Sharon Maguire’s failure to win recognition (or further work) reflect a sexism within the UK/global film industry? There are very few lauded female film-makers (Sofia Coppola, …???) </li></ul><ul><li>Is this ‘simply’ the genre not being considered worthy? </li></ul><ul><li>This debate around ‘worthy’ genres is raised around the Oscars, which often favour ‘weepies’? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can link in Pierre Bordieu’s theory of ‘cultural capital’ here, and also reflect on how most ‘feminine’ media texts are critically panned (TV soaps, celeb gossip mags etc), and considered ‘popular’ (even tabloid, ‘trashy’) culture, not high culture (Coen Brothers’ output, also generally lauded as auteurs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is Danny Boyle emerging as a contemporary Brit auteur? He’s highly unusual in NOT focussing on any genre (Wes Craven – horror etc) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. MARKETING BJD <ul><li>TIE-INS </li></ul><ul><li>OST/MUSIC VIDEOS </li></ul><ul><li>POSTERS/DVD SLEEVES </li></ul><ul><li>FAN-PRODUCED MEDIA/USER-GENERATED CONTENT </li></ul>
  12. 12. MARKETING BJD (Part 1) <ul><li>TIE-INS </li></ul><ul><li>OST/MUSIC VIDEOS </li></ul><ul><li>POSTERS/DVD SLEEVES </li></ul><ul><li>FAN-PRODUCED MEDIA/USER-GENERATED CONTENT </li></ul>
  13. 13. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins &quot;Does This '2 For 1' Offer To London Make Our Butt Look Big?“ <ul><li>Although product placement can net producers serious revenue (the Bond franchise is thought to have netted an incredible $100m for Quantum of Solace !) film marketing cuts both ways… </li></ul><ul><li>Major companies can be paid to launch tie-in ad campaigns, often centring on special offers and/or competitions </li></ul><ul><li>Typically it is the distributor who takes on this role, but WT are unusual as a production co in being heavily involved in the marketing of their films </li></ul><ul><li>The published budget for BJD does not include the $10m spent on setting up tie-in campaigns with some major brands in the US: Virgin, MSN, Body Shop, Diet Coke, Premiere (mag) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins &quot;Does This '2 For 1' Offer To London Make Our Butt Look Big?“ <ul><li>The Virgin Atlantic tie-in, using the sell-line above, was just one example. Its especially useful though, as it shows how comfortable the corporate world is with the image of the UK projected in movies like BJD. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you see the Virgin brand being linked to the central characters in either of the Shane Meadows/Warp films TiEngland or Dead Man’s Shoes ?! </li></ul><ul><li>More details follow on this: </li></ul>
  15. 15. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins &quot;Does This '2 For 1' Offer To London Make Our Butt Look Big?“ <ul><li>Miramax Films' Bridget Jones's Diary opens Friday with about $10 million in estimated promotional partner buildup from The Body Shop,, Virgin Megastore and Virgin Atlantic, with the airline using a particularly cheeky tack. </li></ul><ul><li>Airline ads play off Bridget's weight worries, with copy reading, &quot; Does This '2 For 1' Offer To London Make Our Butt Look Big ?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;If Miramax were an airline, we'd be Virgin and if Virgin was a movie studio, ditto,&quot; said Lori Sale, the Miramax svp-worldwide promotions who just finished marshalling promo muscle for Miramax's hit children's film Spy Kids. </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin Atlantic's premium economy two-for-one offer targets London because it is home to star Renee Zellweger's fictional, thirtyish Bridget Jones and the destination for four separate sweepstakes prizes from, Virgin Megastore/Virgin Atlantic, The Body Shop and a joint Miramax/Diet Coke/Premiere &quot;Visit Bridget&quot; contest. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins &quot;Does This '2 For 1' Offer To London Make Our Butt Look Big?“ <ul><li>Virgin Atlantic hyped Bridget with e-mails sent to its 175,000 Flying Club members. Lifetime TV runs 30-second vignettes about Zellweger April 7-13 and Entertainment Weekly has teamed with Miramax for top 10 market advance screenings this week hyped on radio and in print ads, Sale said. offers sweeps, online Bridget cards and soundtrack clips. </li></ul><ul><li>Like the Virgin contest, The Body Shop's 282 U.S. stores promote their London sojourn with window banners and POP materials plus free sample skincare products with contest entry </li></ul><ul><li>SOURCE: Virgin, MSN Get Behind Weighty Bridget Push - marketing for Bridget Jones's Diary - Brief Article. Brandweek , April 9, 2001 by David Finnigan ( ) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins Selling BJD in Malaysia… <ul><li>There are plenty of other examples to be found, with distributors in each region seeking to maximise their returns by forming cross-promotional tie-ups with other media outlets and brands generally </li></ul><ul><li>CANADA: ‘The campaign for Bridget Jones's Diary for instance, brought together Women's Television Network (WTN) and Signature Vacations, which provided a trip for a mystery date promo. Alliance Atlantis brokered the deal and did all the leg work.’ [ ] </li></ul><ul><li>MALAYSIA: ‘Malaysian loyalty marketing expert Bonuslink has collaborated with United International Pictures to launch a mobile campaign promoting &quot;Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason&quot;. As explained on Cinema Online , the initiative features a mobile blogging section which allows fans to have their own diaries just like Bridget Jones. Entrants can win free trips to Bangkok and enjoy the mobile-based &quot;Secret Admirer&quot;, &quot;Love Calculator&quot;, and &quot;Love Polling� services.’ [ ] </li></ul>
  18. 18. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins Selling BJD in the UK <ul><li>The UK wasn’t left out of this worldwide marketing blitz… </li></ul><ul><li>UK fans could sign up to receive texts from Bridget. Tragic! </li></ul><ul><li>This appeared to be a money-making exercise timed to coincide with the film’s release by the book’s author Helen Fielding rather than an official tie-in, but each effectively promoted the other nonetheless </li></ul><ul><li>Details are given on the next slide, quoted from (there is much more in the article) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Marketing BJD: Tie-Ins Selling BJD in the UK <ul><li>‘ Fans of the best-selling novel Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding will soon be able to commune with their heroine by mobile phone text message. The chain-smoking, wine-swilling, singleton will send daily text message on the topics dear to her heart. </li></ul><ul><li>Expect calorie counts, relationship angst and tallies of glasses of chardonnay consumed. </li></ul><ul><li>So popular is the Bridget Jones phenomenon that the BBC ran a singletons night in 1998 &quot;For singletons like Bridget, the phone is becoming a major means of human contact,&quot; Bridget creator Fielding said. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Texting allows followers to hear from Bridget more often than they hear from some of their own friends.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Life and loves </li></ul><ul><li>Finnish wireless entertainment publisher Riot Entertainment is launching the service in conjunction with Fielding on 13 April. </li></ul><ul><li>That is the day the film version of Bridget Jones's Diary - starring Renée Zellweger alongside Colin Firth and Hugh Grant as the love-interests, opens at cinemas across the UK.’ </li></ul>
  20. 20. Tat for mugs? From top left: audiobook cover; music scores book; [sequel] mug; t-shirt print
  21. 21. MARKETING BJD (Part 2) <ul><li>TIE-INS </li></ul><ul><li>OST/MUSIC VIDEOS </li></ul><ul><li>POSTERS/DVD SLEEVES </li></ul><ul><li>FAN-PRODUCED MEDIA/USER-GENERATED CONTENT </li></ul>
  22. 22. Marketing BJD: the OST <ul><li>Historical or social realist dramas don’t particularly lend themselves to smash hit chart singles, but the rom-com is the perfect vehicle for such a cross-marketing tool: the music videos produced as an off-shoot of BJD carefully-selected soundtrack promoted the film (by featuring clips and characters from it) as well as the acts performing, and of course the CD soundtrack itself. Merchandise can rival a film’s box office takings, especially with sci-fi/fantasy films ( Batman and Star Wars are key examples) </li></ul><ul><li>There aren’t so many toys or video games to flog for a rom-com, so the OST (official soundtrack) CD is especially important… </li></ul>
  23. 23. You can see here (clockwise from top left) the UK, French, US and German OST CD covers. The European covers are basically the same. Interstingly, the US version doesn’t include any artist details, presumably concluding that there are too many UK artists which the US audience won’t know
  24. 24. UK v USA OST TRACKLISTING: spot the difference! <ul><li>1. Out Of Reach </li></ul><ul><li>Gabrielle </li></ul><ul><li>2. Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Aretha Franklin </li></ul><ul><li>3. It's Raining Men </li></ul><ul><li>Geri Halliwell </li></ul><ul><li>4. Have You Met Miss Jones? </li></ul><ul><li>Robbie Williams </li></ul><ul><li>5. I'm Every Woman </li></ul><ul><li>Chaka Khan </li></ul><ul><li>6. Kiss That Girl </li></ul><ul><li>Sheryl Crow </li></ul><ul><li>7. Killin' Kind </li></ul><ul><li>Shelby Lynne </li></ul><ul><li>8. Someone Like You </li></ul><ul><li>Dina Carroll </li></ul><ul><li>9. Not Of This Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Robbie Williams </li></ul><ul><li>10. Love </li></ul><ul><li>Rosey </li></ul><ul><li>11. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) </li></ul><ul><li>Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye </li></ul><ul><li>12. Dreamsome </li></ul><ul><li>Shelby Lynne </li></ul><ul><li>13. It's Only A Diary </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Doyle </li></ul><ul><li>14. Pretender Got My Heart </li></ul><ul><li>Alisha's Attic </li></ul><ul><li>15. All By Myself </li></ul><ul><li>Jamie O'Neal </li></ul><ul><li>16. Ring, Ring, Ring </li></ul><ul><li>Aaron Soul </li></ul><ul><li>1. Killin' Kind </li></ul><ul><li>Shelby Lynne </li></ul><ul><li>2. Kiss That Girl </li></ul><ul><li>Sheryl Crow </li></ul><ul><li>3. Love </li></ul><ul><li>Rosey </li></ul><ul><li>4. Have You Met Miss Jones? </li></ul><ul><li>Robbie Williams </li></ul><ul><li>5. All By Myself </li></ul><ul><li>Jamie O'Neal </li></ul><ul><li>6. Just Perfect </li></ul><ul><li>Tracy Bonham </li></ul><ul><li>7. Dreamsome </li></ul><ul><li>Shelby Lynne </li></ul><ul><li>8. Not Of This Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Robbie Williams </li></ul><ul><li>9. Out of Reach </li></ul><ul><li>Gabrielle </li></ul><ul><li>10. Someone Like You </li></ul><ul><li>Dina Carrol </li></ul><ul><li>11. It's Raining Men </li></ul><ul><li>Geri Halliwell </li></ul><ul><li>12. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) </li></ul><ul><li>Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye </li></ul><ul><li>13. I'm Every Woman </li></ul><ul><li>Chaka Khan </li></ul><ul><li>14. Pretender Got My Heart </li></ul><ul><li>Alisha's Attic </li></ul><ul><li>15. It's Only A Diary </li></ul><ul><li>Partick Doyle, Instrumental Score </li></ul>The US OST drops 1 track (Aaron Soul), but more importantly transforms the tracklisting so the CD starts with several US artists before coming onto the UK acts. This isn’t an issue for a UK audience used to American acts – though maybe not country singer Shelby Lyne whose tracks are here primarily for the US audience
  25. 25. How 3 Acts Widen BJD Appeal <ul><li>Marketing is all about targeting a specific audience … but movies strive to get as many bums on seats as possible </li></ul><ul><li>This helps explain the rise of the hybrid genre , eg the rom-com is designed to help appeal to both men (com) and women (rom) </li></ul><ul><li>The OST was marketed through 3 music videos, all featuring moments from the films, each helping to draw in slightly different audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Shelby Lyne : country has little mainstream appeal in the UK or anywhere outside of the US, where it is a major genre, so Lyne simply taps into a mature US market </li></ul><ul><li>Gabrielle : fairly limited profile in the US, this UK artist, as a black performer, helps reach out to what is often termed the ‘urban market’ (ie the black audience) </li></ul><ul><li>Geri Halliwell : works on several levels: sex appeal/male gaze (so male audience); Spice Girls fans (15-34 women) and aspirational tweenagers seeing her as a female icon; the extremely camp video is designed to draw in the gay male audience (‘pink pound’). The video also blatantly includes an intertextual reference to the 80s classic movie Flashdance , using a record player as part of this, so helping to ensure some appeal to a mature 30/40-something audience nostalgic for the 80s. </li></ul>
  26. 26. MARKETING BJD (Part 3) <ul><li>TIE-INS </li></ul><ul><li>OST/MUSIC VIDEOS </li></ul><ul><li>POSTERS/DVD SLEEVES </li></ul><ul><li>FAN-PRODUCED MEDIA/USER-GENERATED CONTENT </li></ul>
  27. 27. Applying Richard Dyer’s ‘Star Persona’ theory <ul><li>The marketing for BJD and its sequel centred on either three-shots with Zellwegger between the male co-leads, or simply of RZ by herself </li></ul><ul><li>According to Richard Dyer’s theory, we are not just consuming the specific fictional character but also buying into the wider image of the star portraying them </li></ul><ul><li>As the American, Hollywood A-lister, naturally RZ was the main focus of the campaign; the 2 Brits simply didn’t have as high a profile </li></ul>
  28. 29. Like it? Love it, Actually <ul><li>Which is one way of saying we get a clearer example of different US/UK approaches with the posters and sleeves for another WT rom-com, Richard Curtis’ Love Actually </li></ul><ul><li>The music video for this is also very relevant to establish the point on producers seeking to maximise audiences, using ‘ironic’ sexism to give the rom-com a laddish touch </li></ul>
  29. 30. UK v US DVD Covers/Posters <ul><li>Marketing for the UK made heavy use of the fame of the ensemble cast while US marketing led on showing recognisable scenes tied into Xmas </li></ul>There is an excellent study specifically of how the WT rom-coms are marketed differently in the UK/US at [DVD marketing in the U.S. of Working Title 's British romantic comedies: Framing reception and strategies of cultural appropriation by Pavel Skopal in JumpCut ezine]
  30. 31. MARKETING BJD (Part 4) <ul><li>TIE-INS </li></ul><ul><li>OST/MUSIC VIDEOS </li></ul><ul><li>POSTERS/DVD SLEEVES </li></ul><ul><li>FAN-PRODUCED MEDIA/USER-GENERATED CONTENT </li></ul>
  31. 32. Fan Media as Viral Marketing <ul><li>Although there are still some self-defeating efforts at blocking content from YouTube etc, when fans post their favourite clips from films, often set to a song by their favourite artist, they are effectively helping the multinational conglomerates market their films! </li></ul><ul><li>Search YouTube and you’ll see many such efforts, eg by Lizzy Bennett, which has had 223,900 views. Her description: ‘Yes, it's a rather sappy song but for some reason it's always been the Bridget Jones song for me. ’ </li></ul>
  32. 33. The Spoof Trailer <ul><li>As an alternative, you can see a clever fake trailer at named simply “the bridget jones diary spoof trailer” </li></ul><ul><li>While poking fun at the movie, I’d suspect that some of its 34,455 viewers have gone on to buy the DVD! </li></ul>
  33. 34. Fan Media as Viral Marketing <ul><li>This isn’t always the intention though; there are also some sharp pastiches out there… </li></ul>
  34. 35. Not a Fan? <ul><li>If all publicity is good publicity then the following also help to market the movie, notwithstanding their satirising it </li></ul>
  35. 37. <ul><li>See </li></ul>
  36. 38. Wallpapering over the Cracks <ul><li>Various freebies are also often on offer, especially digital, new media items such as ‘wallpapers’ which can be used to replace the default computer desktop setting (please DON’T do this on the Macs!!!) </li></ul><ul><li>We’ll look in more detail at what the WT website offers shortly. </li></ul><ul><li>The following are egs of LA wallpapers, from </li></ul>
  37. 41. Further Resources & Reading <ul><li>JumpCut article: </li></ul><ul><li>Various Gdn arts on product placement, eg </li></ul><ul><li>Various on product placement: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>On the rom-com </li></ul><ul><li>On tie-ins and + + + </li></ul><ul><li>BJD wallpaper </li></ul><ul><li>Various BJD posters or or </li></ul><ul><li>A PowerPoint on BJD written for Media Studies students </li></ul>