Expendables 2 :: Online Media Campaign
YouTube Expandable Masthead video demo
With the highly anticipated premiere of The Expendables 2, Lionsgate was looking to get the word out in a big way. Between building awareness, emphasizing the star-studded cast and playing up the humor of the film, Lionsgate understood the importance of a strong rich media campaign. Lionsgate and AvatarLabs wanted the campaign to be as big and bold as the movie. They started off thinking about what they could do differently and how they could use the film's stars, great action footage and humor to the greatest effect. The concept that came out of this initial thinking was to execute a low barrier to entry, instantly rewarding interactive piece, and offer it front and center rather than burying it within the expansion portion of the units.
As far as what the interactive piece might be, AvatarLabs thought a great way to get people to interact would be to feature a button that would set off video of an explosion — and ask fans NOT to push it. Naturally, fans were going to push the button. The idea fit within Lionsgate's parameters — a light, humorous interactive piece with instant gratification that would lead to engagement and video views. Then, Lionsgate identified an opportunity to piggyback on an existing video shoot with Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews. What better way to ask users to interact with a banner than to have the actual stars of the film to invite them to do so? At the shoot, we filmed the two actors ad libbing, asking fans not to press the button, then reacting with hilariously outrageous disbelief when they do.
Edited and placed into rich media ads (the largest being the YouTube expandable masthead), the result was a funny, simple and highly engaging interactive piece. Several different rounds of video interactions were included in the units (one of our favorite Terry Crews lines: “I told you not to press it — idiot!”�), and the remainder could be viewed on a microsite. In addition, the ads featured trailers, character images and linked out to other promotions.