WWBT’s latest marketing efforts are worthy of any movie trailer you might see in theaters. In fact, that’s just where they’re playing. “We produced two completely fake 60-second movie trailers in two different genres that will be playing before every single movie at Richmond Regal theaters all summer long,” said Erik Candiani, WWBT’s marketing director.
Erik Candiani missed his calling. He should have been a blockbuster Hollywood movie maker. He did work for George Lucas, after all, and has more than 7,000 Blu-Ray movies at home.
Candiani said he looks at every commercial like it’s a short film. He’s right, most commercials and news promos, have a beginning, middle and end and a narrative that ties it all together. Movie trailers and news promos all seek to touch an emotion, to give viewers a positive feeling that leads to watching the movie, or the news.
Candiani is the marketing director for WWBT, Gray’s NBC affiliate in Richmond, Va. And his station’s latest marketing efforts are worthy of any movie trailer you might see in the theaters. In fact, that’s just where they’re playing.
“Since people hit theaters hard during the summer, I felt we should get into the community — in specific areas where we are looking for growth — and get NBC12 in places where people voluntarily stare at a screen, The Movie Theater,” wrote Candiani in an email.
“And, being someone who likes to go big … I didn’t want to just buy a quick still ad that flashes on the screen for a few seconds or brief, quickly-produced generic news clips. It had to be worthy of playing on the big screen and get folks who love movies … to watch OUR movie.”
By the way, that’s a real car drop in the trailer.
“We produced two completely fake 60-second movie trailers in two different genres that will be playing before every single movie at Richmond Regal theaters all summer long,” said Candiani.
“I’m investing 40 seconds of non-news related production to hook them into watching a 20-second news promo. One focused on mornings, and the other on weather … and each an original ‘movie’ concept.
“All production was done in-house, and crewed entirely by the marketing staff,” said Candiani.
“One VFX shot was done outside by Bart Stevens, and all others were done by the super-talented in-house producer, Victor Nash. These productions were led by a relatively new marketing producer. I recruited Terrell Thompson from the news department a mere nine months ago, and he has elevated our production starting on day one. Here’s what he had to say about this crazy idea I assigned: ‘I really enjoyed working on these spots! Finding a way to mix film with news made it even better.’ ”
Are you surprised that creative like this is coming from Richmond, market 56?
“I’ve been at some pretty great stations across the country,” said Candiani, “but the competition here is serious. Richmond, Va., took home more Promax Gold this year than ANY other market in the country, and we’re market 56.”
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