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Universal Pictures stirs up hype for new film via mobile advertising

Universal Pictures is using a mobile ad campaign that goes beyond solely driving ticket sales to get fans excited for the upcoming film, “The Man with the Iron Fists.”

Universal Pictures is using social media, video and content as part of its campaign to connect with consumers. The ads are running inside the IMBD mobile site.

“Mobile is an important part of every campaign,” said Doug Neil, senior vice president of digital marketing at Universal Pictures, Universal City, CA.

“We know mobile usage is up significantly with our target audience and we want to maintain a presence for our films with that channel.”

Mobile engagement
The Universal Pictures ads feature the film’s logo and a picture with copy that encourages consumers to get tickets by tapping on the ad.

Once users tap on the ads, they are directed to the film’s mobile site. Via the site, consumers can learn about the plot or watch the film’s trailer on YouTube.

However, marketers typically link users to Facebook and Twitter pages. Instead, Universal Pictures is showing that it is thinking outside the box by incorporating Tumblr into its mobile site.

A link to Fandango’s mobile site is incorporated into the site to let users buy advanced tickets to the film.

Mobile movies?
Universal Pictures is only one of the many film studios using mobile to interact with movie fans.

One of the primary goals of using mobile advertising in the entertainment industry is to drive pre-sale ticket sales.

However, it is also important to use mobile to build awareness leading up to film, as Universal Pictures has done in this case.

The company ran a similar initiative this summer for the film “Savages” (see story).

By combining together multiple elements including social media, video and content, the ad focuses less on driving sales and more on honing in on user engagement, which gives users options in how they want to interact with a campaign.

“Mobile ticketing is readily available on most devices and is convenient for our target audience,” Mr. Neil said.

“In addition to the mobile display tactics, we have also had an ongoing text-to-win initiative for the film and we also have made sure our content is readily available from mobile devices,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York