Hollywood Goes 3-D!

Hollywood is looking at the future through 3-D colored plastic glasses.

My Bloody Valentine, Coraline and the Jonas Brothers concert film were just warm-up acts. The attack of the 3-D movie revival begins in earnest next Friday when Monsters vs. Aliens, the latest computer-animated funhouse from DreamWorks, is launched into theaters.
At least 12 other titles will follow this year, including such milestones as Up, Pixar’s first foray in the format; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, a rare chance to see that disaster-prone Scrat get flattened in 3-D; and Avatar, James Cameron’s return to feature filmmaking after a 12-year hiatus that will attempt to do for live-action futuristic thrillers what his Titanic did for sinking ships.

If ever a digital-age update on what was once an Ike-era novelty were going to take hold — and persuade more theater operators to invest upward of $100,000 to convert to the technology — it is now, with such already anticipated titles ready to give it a real workout.

“What’s going to happen in the next few months is that theater owners will ask themselves, ‘Do I want to be the guy watching cars drive by to a screen down the road?’ ” predicts Jim Gianopulos, co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, which is behind both the Ice Age sequel and the Cameron release. “With Monsters vs. Aliens and Ice Age ramping up to Avatar, there will come a tipping point.”

Getting an ‘Eagle Eye’ Film Experience Via Mobile Marketing.

In “Eagle Eye,” the Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures thriller set for release this weekend, the lead characters are driven to extreme acts by a mysterious woman who contacts them via their mobile phones.
So what better way to promote the movie than through a mobile-marketing campaign?

The effort, created by Millennial Media for Paramount, follows the movie’s plot, without giving too much away, and drives consumers to opt in for voice, text and mobile-web messages similar to what “Eagle Eye” protagonists Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) experience.

Eric Eller, senior VP-marketing at Millennial, said his definition of a great mobile campaign is one that creates compelling content that is easy to share with others and links to the consumer mobile experience. Thanks to the content of the movie, the last parameter was a given.

“In this case it was easier than usual, and it’s even more interesting because we could bring into play all the ways people use mobile phones — calling, text and mobile web,” he said.

All will be revealed…The first message the user receives is a call, voiced by the same mysterious woman in the movie, warning that “you’ve been activated” and that the line is no longer secure. Other warnings and hints come via text messages, interactive voice response and SMS. The upshot of all this builds to hype the movie, when “all will be revealed on Sept. 26.”

There was also a sweepstakes for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card from Circuit City for those who opt in.

Millennial placed mobile banner ads across its network at a wide variety of websites, including the homepages for Major League Baseball, CBS News, TV Guide and Weatherbug, to drive consumers to opt into the campaign. Consumers can join by inputting their phone numbers right into a box on the banner.

“This groundbreaking campaign is an excellent example of how advertisers can creatively use today’s mobile technologies to connect their content to consumers,” said Michael Rosenberg, manager of national advertising at Paramount, in a release. “We are delivering a highly distinctive theatrical marketing vehicle which brings the ‘Eagle Eye’ film experience to its consumers in a new and exciting way.”

This mobile campaign marked the seventh time Paramount tapped Millennial for theatrical or home-entertainment releases. It is also the latest in a series of aggressive marketing pushes for the anticipated blockbuster that includes not only outdoor, radio, print and TV, but also digital marketing, including well-received alternate-reality game “Eagle Eye Freefall.”

Facebook Tests AD Comments

This week Facebook is trying out a new ad format that attempts to bring social networking to video placements.

New placements began appearing on the site touting the DreamWorks movie Tropic Thunder. The ads, running on the right side of the page, feature a click-to-play trailer. When users watch the video, they are then presented with a commenting option, similar to those that appear within the site’s News Feed.

I love to comment especially about films so I hope the film companies can take the heat.
Comments are featured from others in a user’s network. In this way, a user can see what his or her friends think about a movie or product.

A Facebook spokesman said the ads are a test of new formats the site is undertaking following a redesign this month.

Facebook has struggled to craft an ad system that fits its environment, where users often come to exchange information with friends. Banner ads on the site are known to get very low click-through rates, and they often compete with many other items on the page for attention.

The site is not the first to experiment with ad comments. Weblogs tried a system called Focus Ads in 2005 that would display user comments on ad messages.

Facebook’s first attempt at crafting a unique ad system mostly fell flat. Its Beacon program, which beamed certain user activities from advertiser sites, was scaled back due to privacy complaints. The site still runs Social Ads that features endorsements of a user’s network.

The new ad test follows a site redesign that changed ad placements from the left side of the page to the right column. The shift was part of a much larger site redesign that the company says will improve the user experience by making the venue less cluttered and emphasizing feeds from a user’s friend activities.