“We challenged PHD to deliver an integrated media partnership that utilised all the assets of the brand, like Sex And The City’s Carrie,” says Danni Murray, director of media and marketing partnerships at Warner Bros.
“We needed PHD to find us a media partner who would allow us to harness their editorial proposition, allowing us to speak to the target audience in an engaging way and with real authority.”
With most of SATC’s TV story lines already wrapped up in the first series, PHD’s challenge was to make sure an army of SATC fans would return for the sequel, by harnessing the franchise’s appeal of fun, fashion, friendship and glamour.
This is where UK fashion magazine Stylist came in. “We felt that their readers would be fantastic brand advocates“, says Zoe Bale, press account director at PHD.
The result was Stylist’s first ever collector’s edition – a 72 page pull out which was distributed a few days before the film’s release.
The pull out delivered both sponsorship opportunities and premium content – such an interviews with all four SATC stars – an exclusive that no other UK title was given. This was something of a coup for Stylist too, as it is a fledgling in saturated fashion magazine market that only launched in October 2009.
After getting the studio and the publicist to approve PHD’s ideas, a big challenge in itself, nature threatened to intervene in the campaign’s success at the last minute. With journalists booked to fly to the US and conduct the interviews, last spring's Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud caused last minute disruption, and meant that the interviews almost didn’t happen at all.
Journalists were diverted and “run around by any means of transport pOssible – the phrase planes trains and automobiles came to mind,” says Glenda Marchant, publisher of Stylist.
As well as the promotional pull out, there were specially created features in Stylist including a New Your City Guide and a Carrie inspired fashion shoot.
PHD and Warner Bros also negotiated with London’s Westminster Council to allow Stylist to be distributed to the crowd at the movie’s UK premiere in Leicester Square. As a result, stars of the show were seen signing issues at the premiere in an extra promotional opportunity for the magazine.
Research showed that 60% of readers were more likely to see the film as a result of reading the issue. The movie achieved the biggest Friday opening of 2010 to date – beating Toy Story 3 and opening at number one with a £7.4m box office.
The UK launch of the film dramatically out-performed the US release, where it had opened at number three. UK takings were almost double the industry average conversion of UK to US box office. The Guardian described it as “a disproportionate hit”.
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