Alien: Covenant – More than just trailers

The most common method of advertising a new movie is of course the film trailer.

For 20th Century Studios, Ridley Scott and his legendary franchise of Alien films, a simple movie trailer is not enough.

Film trailers are sometimes misleading, over revealing, or sensationalist, leading to disappointment when movie-goers’ expectations are not met at the big screen. Ultimately, to enrich the experience of the film, advertisers must establish curiosity and wonder through the small screens first, something done time and time again by the Alien franchise.

The latest addition to the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant, is being advertised to customers using a high quality Integrated Marketing Communications campaign; the current campaign is a great example of viral, video and content marketing.

Currently, Alien: Covenant’s official film and teaser trailers have attracted just short of 30 million views on Youtube. Supporting these two trailers, 20th Century Fox has also released an official prologue, a short clip which details events leading up to the new film, including two main characters of the prequel, Prometheus (2012). 

This is where the marketing campaign gets interesting. Going beyond just a simple movie trailer, Alien: Covenant is being supported by multiple forms of content marketing produced by the studio, which adds to the the film in the lead up to its release.

Following in the footsteps of its prequel, Alien: Covenant has matched Prometheus’ viral marketing video titled Meet David with its own content marketing project titled Meet Walter.

Source: Youtube (click here to view)

Meet David was basically a poignant, quirky and engaging video which added to the background of the world within the story of Prometheus, before the film had been released.

Using the same concept, a new video (above) has been released featuring the same actor, introducing the audience to another character, this time, however, supported by an interactive website linked in the video.

This interactive website further complements the trailers and Meet Walter video by allowing visitors to uncover small but valuable details about the film’s story, encouraging them to share their self generated content once having completed a series of questions. (I think it would be important to note here that the website is optimized well for both desktop and mobile phone usage).

Furthering the success of this campaign, all of these supporting videos and interactive websites have resulted in a large number of videos produced by fans, speculating as to the hidden messages each piece of media contains. Such fan produced videos polish this campaign off to include both brand owned and earned media content. (source: Forrester Research on Earned, Owned and Paid Media)

This campaign is full of ingenious marketing tactics which all complement and feedback to each other, ramping up audience’s excitement in anticipation for the film’s release.

Clearly, Alien: Covenant is a telling example of how digital marketing communications can be utilised to break free from traditional methods of advertising; as digital marketers, it is up to us to find new and inventive ways of advertising products and services, rather than following the standard set by tradition.


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