Sony Pictures skips theaters, debuts trailer for The Emoji Movie on mobile
- Sony Pictures Animation launched what a company press release deemed a “first-ever” — a vertical video teaser for the upcoming The Emoji Movie specifically for mobile users. The full-length spot won’t appear in theaters until 24 hours after the mobile version drops.
- Part of the movie’s content will include character interactions with popular apps like Spotify and Candy Crush Saga. Other apps appearing in the movie include Dropbox, Instagram, Just Dance, Twitter, YouTube, Crackle, Facebook, Shazam, Snapchat and Twitch.
- The mobile-first teaser was launched on The Emoji Movie Facebook page.
Debuting a teaser first on smartphones might make sense given The Emoji Movie's content, but Sony is also undoubtedly breaking with studio tradition by opting out of theater promotions for a full day in favor of mobile. Vertical video, a content type once highly derided but now widely accepted thanks to the likes of Snapchat, is not necessarily the most cinematic presentation mode but might get the message across to the film's target audience.
The effort is a strong indicator that brands — even those bound to tradition like big movie studios —are more ready and willing to engage with a mobile-first audience and on their terms, even if that means creating both vertical and landscape versions of the same trailer to satisfy broader viewerships. Marketers are increasing turning to digital and mobile channels when launching campaigns that will eventually roll out across all marketing channels.
The Emoji Movie as a whole is a bit of an anomaly, tapping a hyper-specific messaging tool for a full feature film. That hasn't stopped major mobile players like Candy Crush and Spotify from partnering with the product. How they'll appear in the final cut is unclear — they're very visible on a smartphone screen in the trailer — so the tie-in product placement may be a little more on the nose than usual.