Campaigns: A thoroughly modern revival - Film Publicity

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, Quadrophenia.

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,

Quadrophenia.



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.



Objectives



To gain maximum publicity from a tight budget and to create interest

among a new generation of movie-goers.



Tactics



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

joint promotions.



Only scooter company Piaggio and bootmaker/retailer Doc Martens took up

the offer.



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

Dodgy.



Results



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.



Verdict



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

movie.



Client: Feature Film Company

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Quadrophenia re-release

Timescale: October 1996 - February 1997

Budget: pounds 15,000



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