The box-office smashing marketing campaign for Hunt for the Wilderpeople has won the gong for Best Independent Distributor Marketing campaign at the annual NZ Motion Picture Industry Council awards.
Bringing together marketing and creative agencies from across the country distributors Madman Entertainment and producers Piki Films worked with Philippa Atkinson and Devon Roberts of Mediaworkshop (Media Strategy), Anna Dean of Double Denim (Digital and Sponsorship Strategy) and 818 Entertainment (Publicity) to create an all-encompassing consumer campaign. The levels of engagement across both audiences and channels reached levels never seen before for a local title.
“The Madman team are absolutely thrilled to be recognised by the industry for the immense team effort that has gone into the marketing of this film,” says Mark Chamberlain, Theatrical Sales Manager at Madman Entertainment. “The collaboration between Madman and Piki and the talents of 818 Entertainment, Mediaworkshop and Double Denim created a campaign that has really got into the hearts and minds of everyday Kiwis and in return delivered an exceptional box office result.”
This award marks the second time for many of the team who also took out this prestigious award in 2015 for their work on Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s vampire mockumentary, What We Do In The Shadows (2014).
New Zealanders were quick to engage with the inclusive and distinctly kiwi campaign for Hunt for the Wilderpeople which included a gala premiere simulcast from Auckland and held in 42 regional locations around the country on the same night, as well as a nationwide cinema tour with children invited to dress as #nzbush to meet the film’s star Julian Dennison.
The digital content marketing strategy created a large amount of bespoke content in collaboration with partners, iconic kiwi brands such as Air New Zealand, Trade Me, Tuatara and government departments including the Department of Conservation, Tourism NZ and the New Zealand Defence Force. This led to high online exposure and engagement in the lead up to release.
The infectious spirit of film’s stars Julian Dennison and Sam Neill as well as director Taika Waititi lead to an unprecedented level of press engagement across the film’s release. The brilliant rapport between the trio lead to front page media coverage across Print, Radio and TV culminating with a glitzing ‘green’ carpet premiere at Hoyts Sylvia Park which was covered by outlets from across all mediums.
A partnership with the NZ Motion Picture Exhibitors Association (NZMPEA) saw the successful launch of the My Cinema platform. Independent My Cinema exhibitors were invovled in nationwide premieres along with a competition to win a family holiday. 33 cinemas took part in the promotion leading to a lift in the independents share of the box-office to 42%, a figure well above the 30% average.
The media strategy had a strong focus on impact over frequency to achieve scale as well as complementing already existing editorial coverage insured the campaign was never far from top of mind for the target audience. Focusing on varying ways to introduce the characters and the position the film as an entertaining and fun NZ action/comedy, a multifaceted TV, Digital, Radio and Outdoor campaign was used. A charity partnership with Foster Hope complimented the film's social messages.
A hilarious tralier was created by Tom Eagles, Kaye-Maree & Mita Dunn at ‘Making things Acheiveable’ ran the grass roots campaign and The Luminary Promotions Group provided support around the Auckland premiere and cinema tour.
“This film was made for all kiwis so it was important everyone felt included from day one of its release,” says Carthew Neal, producer and distributor. “We worked closely with exhibitors across the country to create a nationwide community of local advocates. We wanted to do things a little bit differently, and asked everyone to go the extra mile to ensure the campaign matched the quality of the film. The team were agile and extremely hard working. It was a challenging but rewarding experience as a first time distirbutor and I am incredibly proud of the team behind the film and its release.”
The film broke box office records with a record opening weekend take of over $1.2M with the Saturday recording the highest single day for a local film of $528,000. Key engagement with
exhibitors around the country ensured the collaborative and community feel of the campaign translated right to consumers with this engagement proving a huge success with the film continuing to play sessions in close to 100 screens around the country in its 12th week of release and has pulled in a local box office of over $11 million dollars.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople was also awarded the Flicks Critics Choice Award for best NZ Film 2016 at at the gala dinner.