Ahead of The Oscars, what are ad execs’ favorite ever movie marketing campaigns?

This weekend brings the 96th Academy Awards, arguably the biggest night in entertainment. But first, a somewhat less prestigious straw poll: leading marketers’ highlight reels of movie marketing.

There’s no Oscar for best trailer, or best poster, best product tie-in (well, there is a kind of unofficial equivalent: the Golden Trailer Awards, for which you’ll have to wait until May 30). But the movies are a proudly commercial art form, with a whole ecosystem of artists working to promote the movies themselves – think the gorgeous posters, trailers and title sequences of Saul Bass, or the world-famous promotional illustrations of Drew Struzan.

So: what are the pieces of movie marketing magic that have stuck longest in the minds of leading marketers? We asked six creative and strategic minds from The Drum Network for their personal award winners.

Allan Blair, head of strategy, VaynerMedia EMEA: The Blair Witch Project’s immersive campaign

“Since I was a kid, I’ve loved horror movies. By my early twenties, I’d seen them all; I’d become desensitized to the jumps, frights and scares. Then, in 1999, I went to see a movie that blew my tiny 22-year-old mind: The Blair Witch Project. The movie itself is somewhat unspectacular: a roughly shot found-footage movie about a film crew mostly wandering around the woods. Yet, to this day, it’s one of the most unsettling experiences I’ve ever had. That’s almost entirely down to its marketing campaign. The makers of the film realized that the limitations of the film (a shoddy, homemade aesthetic and a cast of unknowns) were also its biggest assets. The brilliant marketing leaned into this with realistic ‘missing’ posters and flyers featuring the cast and spurious stories of missing documentary makers. It set early internet users into a conspiracy frenzy (back when conspiracy theories

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Marketing Briefing: Diversity execs sound off on the current state of DE&I in advertising – a work in progress

After more than two years of commitments and promises, yet another report from the 4A’s points out that the ad industry still has a ways to go in its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

However, chief diversity officers at U.S. agency holding companies say diversity stats are just a small part of what’s happening across the DE&I landscape. Ultimately, it is, and continues to be, a work in progress. 

The past June, the 4A’s released the 2023 Diversity in Agencies Survey Report, revealing that in 2021, 73% of agency leaders identified as white, as per industry reports. By 2022, that figure jumped to 90%. To the industry, those figures could point to advertising’s progress, or lack thereof, causing questions about the fizzling out of what was the DE&I fever pitch with wake of the murder of George Floyd in May, 2020.

“As an industry, we can do better as we recently saw in the findings of the 4A’s 2023 Diversity in Agencies survey,” Tahlisha Williams, the 4As evp of talent, equity and learning solutions, said in an emailed statement. “Now, more than ever, agencies must be intentional in defining and keeping their DEIB commitments. They also need to continue to track progress, so they don’t’ take their eye off the ball.”

But to diversity executives at major holding companies, including Havas, Publicis Groupe and Dentsu, diversity stats don’t tell the entire story. And two years isn’t enough time to overhaul an entire industry.

“There’s no way that things that have been systematically and historically embedded in our lives, in our subconscious and especially within our organizations would have been undone within two years in a global pandemic,” said Geraldine White, chief diversity officer of Publicis Groupe U.S. 

In the U.S., diversity within advertising has been a slow, uphill battle,

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The Drum | Do Ads Have To Be Real? Marketing Execs Weigh In On Viral Tricks And Fakes

Sarah Jenkins, partner and executive vice president, The Romans New York: “As creative marketers, we’re in the business of imagination. We develop brand campaigns based on insights that strike a chord with aspects of consumers’ personalities (often a playful side): ideas that push us to think beyond what’s possible. We should never, ever limit ourselves to traditional reality, because that would stifle the curiosity that’s critical for creative evolution.

“When you’re working on a campaign that has potential negative impact, you have a responsibility to disclose when things are generated by AI. But let’s not hold back from exploring the what-ifs. Consumers of all ages are craving levity; often, that comes from the powerful escapism of make-believe. Just proceed with caution, consider negative impact, and act in a way that doesn’t pose risk to individuals or groups.”

Henry Challender, associate creative director, Bray Leino: “Realness is blurry. Neither physicist nor philosopher can tell you what reality ‘really’ is. Some people (hey Elon) even contend it’s all a big simulation. But before we get into a metaphysical pickle, let’s agree on the everyday distinction between ‘real’ (genuine, authentic, true) and ‘fake’ (false, deceitful, artificial). On those terms, it’s hard to claim marketing’s ever real. Artifice is almost always baked into the deal. Are we being ‘real’ when pricing something 99p rather than £1? When we retouch that burger?

“Even the worthiest purpose-led campaign may be tinged with an ulterior motive. AI brings new toys for tricksters, making it easier to be wilfully deceptive. As the line between the real and the fake gets blurrier, perhaps transparency will set the good actors apart from the bad. But maybe the fun is in not being quite sure.”

Jordan Dale, creative director, Amplify: “Did people think that John Lewis actually sent a man

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Walmart ad revenue hit $2.7B as execs eye higher scale

Dive Temporary:

  • Walmart’s U.S. advertising and marketing division, Walmart Join, grew 41% calendar year-over-year in the fourth quarter, in accordance to an earnings assertion.
  • The retailer’s world-wide advert operations ended up up 20% more than the period and jumped just about 30% in 2022, creating $2.7 billion for the whole 12 months, executives explained. Join and FlipKart Ads, an India-centered business enterprise, were attributed as the greatest expansion drivers. 
  • Strong efficiency from retail media bets supported balanced profits around the essential holiday period of time, nevertheless Walmart warned of uncertainty in advance in 2023 that marketing could aid ease.

Dive Perception:

Walmart’s marketing just take for 2022 arrived at $2.7 billion, demonstrating that demand from customers for its retail media networks remained resilient irrespective of a sharp inflationary interval that led several brand names to pull again on shelling out. Advertisement sales progress in Q4 was notably robust in relation to Walmart Join, the company’s U.S. division that expended considerably of very last yr expanding its infrastructure and partnership roster in parts like ad tech and social commerce, including by means of a tie-up with TikTok. 

U.S. comp gross sales for the retailer climbed 8.3% in Q4, though e-commerce was up 17% YoY, bolstered by the grocery class. Even with the comparatively wholesome holiday break takeaway, Walmart warned that higher costs and ongoing client pressures were being foremost it to choose a cautionary stance for 2023.

Advertising and marketing could stay a brilliant location as choppy waters endure next a chaotic couple pandemic years. Executives have referred to as out strengths in advertising and marketing extra usually to investors as retail media turns into a magnet for model dollars and a more important generator of revenue for Walmart. 

“We’re driving a lot of modify in our business,” claimed

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