With one month to go the DREDD 3D campaign is in full law-giver swing. Hence, it is time to take a look at what Lionsgate presents its comic IP fan base and how (or better if) they try to target to a new audience group. The property itself seems to be an emotional one since the 1995 film version saw a mixed reception. For some it still is a cult film to which the remake has yet to live up to. Others see it as a total misfire and hope the reboot will finally give them what they expected from the comics.
Now, Lionsgate runs a double canon campaign on DREDD 3D. Based on what the studio leaned with its traditional social media marketing approach on EXPENDABLES 2 the focus lies on Facebook engagements and (re)sharing a mix of old content (comic strips) and new banners communicating release date countdown and Twitter hashtags. EXPENDABLES 2 draw its old content from known production stills of the actors past films and called it “Know Your 80s”.
DREDD 3D however, seems to create more fan-art posts which is probably related in the IP’s comic book origin. But Lionsgate learned its lesson from EXPENDABLES 2 when it comes to requesting specific fan submissions in order to build up an audience touch. While other Facebook pages rely on the Fan Art Fridays, featuring the best submissions/posts, Lionsgate opened the “Battle Scars & Bragging Rights” contest. The idea was intriguing for fans, showing the world your personal body scars from the wars with your dog on the front porch and all the evil tattoos under your toes. Unfortunately, the timing was too late, the film already started in cinemas and this campaign element wasn’t perused further. Instantly Lionsgate took over the idea to DREDD 3D, asking for Judge name submissions and “Your Badass Judge Bio”.
Ultimately, EXPENDABLES 2 had/has the greater potential to engage it’s fan base in place as well as extend this base with new recruits. Every single one of the 11 main actors brings in his own followership while enticing their regular peers (for example Stallone on his Twitter). Also, Lionsgate could tap into already established networks. The Facebook page to EXPENDABLES 1 had far greater updates than the in June 2012 launched page to part 2. So what can DREDD 3D do in order to make more arrests?
The slightly fragmented campaign shows us two tent pole web pages: http://dreddthemovie.com and http://judgementiscoming.com. Both with very similar content, linking with the Facebook page and Lionsgate’s YouTube channel as well as Twitter. @lionsgatemovies is even renamed DREDD 3D and the channel branded the same way. But here comes something new, something that is not linked with the official sites at all yet.
http://dreddreport.com is a simple news page, sort of newspaper style that compiles a couple of news headlines phrased in the IP’s propaganda polemic. When clicking on the link they will bring you on an actual news blog with a real story that relates in content to the Dredd-branded message. Also on this page: crime rate reports of Mega City, a Judges-on-duty-ticker, radiation levels and feeds from the Twitter account @DREDDReport that retweets the news and links.
There is also advertisement on the page, offering body armor (real life protection for a change, possibly one of the film’s sponsors). Most remarkable however is the public service announcement campaign element. The film’s Hall of Justice informs about the risks of using the drug Slo-Mo. A banner links to http://www.saynotoslomo.com which, at this moment, redirects to the Youtube video below:
During this year’s ComiCon Lionsgate released the first teaser, already showing people taking drugs while Dredd raids their room, all shot in slow-motion. After this PSA it appears that the slow-motion effect in the film is not just a visual gimmick but rather a certain plot point.
The DreddReport branch of Lionsgate’s campaign got quite some potential but doesn’t seem to have gotten the right push yet as it is neither directly linked to the other promotion channels nor holds significant points of interaction or engagement for users.