Film distributor Feature Film Company (FFC), the company
responsible for the successful re-release of Withnail and I last year,
recently turned its attention to the revival of another cult classic,
The 1979 film, which stars among others Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and
Sting and has been hailed by youth opinion formers such as Blur, Oasis
and Ocean Colour Scene as a defining moment in Britain’s popular
culture, was released on 31 January.
To gain maximum publicity from a tight budget and to create interest
among a new generation of movie-goers.
There were two main prongs to the campaign: a media relations programme
and a series of cross-promotions arranged with brands that had a natural
fit with the movie or with mod culture.
FFC made sure that various cast members from the movie were available
for interview with key media, including national newspapers, film
magazines and youth titles. It also negotiated to secure the ’play out’
slot on the BBC’s influential Film 97.
To broaden the campaign’s penetration, FFC approached Piaggio, Doc
Martens, Fred Perry, Ben Sherman and Levi’s with a view to undertaking
Only scooter company Piaggio and bootmaker/retailer Doc Martens took up
Piaggio is displaying posters and other promotional material in about
150 of its dealerships. It has also donated several Vespa scooters to be
used as competition prizes - Virgin Radio, for instance, is running a
Quadrophenia competition with a scooter as first prize, which culminates
on the day the movie opens.
Doc Martens is similarly displaying in-store themed material in about
150 outlets. It has also commissioned its own ’gift for purchase’ CD
featuring tracks from the film updated to have a 1990s feel.
By a happy coincidence, Golden Wonder began running a TV ad last autumn
that was heavily influenced by the movie. On the back of this, FFC and
Golden Wonder got together with the result that the bagged snacks
company is running Quadrophenia trivia on the back of about 18 million
packets of crisps.
Two nights before the nationwide re-release, FFC held a launch party and
premiere for 300 journalists and celebrities. Guests were transported by
private train from Victoria to Brighton where they were met by the town
mayor and a cavalcade of scooter riders from a local club. They were
then escorted to the premiere at the Brighton Odeon, after which a party
was held at the Grand Hotel until 4am.
The guest list included members of bands including Kula Shaker and
Features appeared in the Independent, the Observer Review, News of the
World while the Daily Mail and Andy Coulson of the Sun focused on the
Quadrophenia stars asking ’who are they now?’. Magazines including
Loaded, Empire, Select, Blah Blah Blah, Total Film, Sight & Sound and
Muzik all gave substantial coverage. One of the movie’s stars, Phil
Daniels, was even asked to present an episode of BBC1’s Top of the Pops.
The launch party also generated substantial TV coverage with items by
News Room South East, Meridien, London Today, Sky, MTV, Big Breakfast
plus extensive radio coverage including GLR and Radio 1.
Whether, as FC head of marketing Laurence Gornall claims, the launch
party will become a myth rather like the trainspotting party at Cannes,
will remain to be seen. But the film obviously struck a nostalgic chord
particularly among the tabloids. So far Feature Film’s hopes have been
borne out by box office figures. The film entered the London charts at
number 10 and national charts at number 14 - not bad for an 18-year-old
Client: Feature Film Company
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: Quadrophenia re-release
Timescale: October 1996 - February 1997
Budget: pounds 15,000