- Sony Pictures Entertainment's TriStar Pictures is promoting the June 29 release of the movie “Baby Driver,” starring Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey, with a Snapchat geofilter contest. People enter by submitting artwork inspired by the heist film to a promotional website, babydriverfanart.com, according to a statement.
- Edgar Wright, the writer and director of the movie about a getaway driver who wants to leave a criminal gang, will select the winning artwork to run as a Snapchat geofilter at a theater chain for a week after the release date. Sony’s TriStar Pictures studio and Hollywood financing company Media Rights Capital produced the movie, which isn’t rated yet.
- Meanwhile, Snapchat faces pressure from other camera apps, particularly Instagram. Snapchat downloads in April fell about 16% from the prior year to 21.1 million, according to Sensor Tower’s Store Intelligence data. Instagram, which has a stories feature like Snapchat’s, increased 19% to 31 million during that time, Venture Beat reported.
Movie releases will come and go this summer, but Snapchat will be busy hosting ad campaigns to reach the younger-skewing audience that drives box office receipts. TriStar's “Baby Driver” will have geofilters, the photo overlays found in the Snapchat app, that reach targeted theatergoers nationwide. Additionally, Warner Brothers is sponsoring a world lens, Snapchat’s augmented reality feature that puts cartoon images amid real-life surroundings, for the release of “Everything, Everything” on May 19, according to TechCrunch.
For Sony Pictures, social media has become a key part of the way it markets films through what used to be mostly word-of-mouth among movie audiences. Sony's film marketing budget shifted from 10% on digital to as much as 50% in the prior 18 months, Josh Greenstein, the movie studio's president of worldwide marketing and distribution, said at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. He said moviegoers hear about upcoming films earlier, more consistently and in an increasingly customized fashion through apps like Facebook, CIO reported.
The “Baby Driver” campaign aims for an engaging mix of viral publicity and user-generated content among a Snapchat audience that is experimenting with tools to manipulate images and videos. It's not the only company that's tapping into UGC and mobile campaigns. The Tribeca Film Festival this year added an official category of Snapchat shorts to discover visionary artists in the mobile space, according to its website. It received hundreds of submissions, all under two minutes long, that were narrowed into a group of finalists and a winner.