— Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, 1976
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January 13, 2014
The Best Movies (Promotional Schwag) of 2013
— Posted by Kenny Miles
Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of articles on The Movie Blog looking back at some of movies most notable highlights, big trends, and best features of 2013.
Every year studios come up with promotional items to distribute to the press and public mostly during advanced screenings before the wide release. Otherwise known as “schwag” these items build excitement for upcoming releases. The following are the best items, our very own Kenny Miles at The Movie Blog received from the studio.
Specialized 3D Glasses for Mainstream Blockbusters
Since many iconic superheroes are adapted into popular summer blockbusters, it makes sense that the studio who produce 3D glasses for the occassion. It is a nice surprise to receive some at the screening so I kept an extra in the package.
Even Film Festival Movies Promote
Movies that play the festival circuit have to get noticed before they play in theaters. As you can see, these items tend to be more pratical. Pictured is a Much Ado About Nothing bookmark, A drink coaster for Drinking Buddies, and a breathmint to promote Don Jon (though by the looks of it and keep in theme with the sexually explicit movie, a condomn would have been more appropriate.)
Spring Break…Forever…or for a Fun Party
I attend alot of promotional screenings and the best screening I attended all year was Spring Breakers. The local Allied reps who work alongside A24 did such a fantastic job creating a party atmosphere; cheap drinks, free pizza, and alot of schwag to give away. As you can see, they know what kind of movie they had on hand. Those items are things that die hard fans of this soon to be cult classic will want to own.
Summer Beach Wear
From spring to summer, these items for The Way Way Back were alot of fun: Water Wizz staff t-shirts and beach balls. Fox Searchlight hosted numerous screenings in the Denver area. When filmmakers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash stopped by Denver for their press tour, audiences members received these iteams. More summer releases with summer themes should go this promotional route.
Prize Winner: The Best Schwag Item of 2013…
For the Denver Film Festival, corporate sponsor the Starz movie channel went all out for their Big Night presentation of Nebraska. At the after-party, they gave away black Prize Winner hats. For those who have seen Nebraska, this is a fun, terrific idea. This was the hottest item at the film festival and would translate well to fans of the movie as well as generate buzz among casual movie goers. Technically, Paramount Vantage didn’t create this promotional item, but they should consider making them before the wide release of Nebraska during awards season.
Here is a picture of me at a promotion for The Bling Ring this summer. I look forward to what schwag items the studios will create in 2014.
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Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. When he isn’t writing, Kenny channels his passion for interacting with moviegoers (something most movie pundits lack) as a pollster for the market research company CinemaScore and working as floor staff/special events coordinator in the film community. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.
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