AVATAR in Pakistan first hit the news officially on 6 December 2009. As marketers we were hosting the press launch on behalf of 20th Century Fox International and Mandviwalla Entertainment in Pakistan.
The director James Cameron made the entire publicity campaign live up to Avatar’s own technological advances. By keeping the plot to a minimum and banking on fans immersing themselves in an augmented reality. It’s very rare that you actually get an opportunity to work on an original idea.The whole complexity around marketing Avatar was to live the brand through fan engagement ultimately leading to sell movie tickets. That is exactly what happened on an unprecedented scale worldwide.
The territory had another challenge. The release schedule was in favor of the Bollywood’s leading icon Amir Khan Starrer 3 Idiots. For the local market this was a no brainer. Avatar should not be even competing with a Bollywood rare gem.
“Avatar, is going to hit cinema screens on Dec 18 in the US, and the good news for us Pakistanis is that it will grace our cinema halls on new year’s eve. The film is said to be a big-budgeted project with expenditure crossing the $230m mark. It’s a mix of action, adventure, romance and fantasy, created with the help of the most hi-tech computer generated images (CGIs).” Reported Pakistan’s leading english daily Dawn.
Marketing therefore became vital to create at least the kind of awareness the movie and its legacy deserves. Under defined parameters of brand and communication guidelines.
August 21 was celebrated as “Avatar Day.” Today, it should be remembered as the dawn of the most comprehensive digital marketing campaign ever developed to support a film.
Moviegoers in more than 100 IMAX 3-D theaters worldwide watched 16 minutes of footage from a new James Cameron movie.
That same day, Ubisoft debuted a trailer for a videogame based on the film.
Moreover, Mattel unveiled action figures inspired by the film’s characters.
As a result and a day earlier, the teaser for the very same film broke a record on Apple.com
It all started on August 21, 2009, the day that started the campaign and successfully moved millions of people to experience something new and blue. The world went out to see the film in unprecedented numbers.
On that front, the entire campaign has been a success story.