Producing an animation campaign is just like producing a live-action campaign.
Except it takes a lot longer.
It takes longer because typically, animated movies are aimed at family audiences, and the best trailering opportunities for those audiences are school holidays.
(Of course, animation that is not aimed at family audiences is not so restricted, but there are other challenges to overcome.)
Plus, it takes time and effort to set up third-party promotions and licensing deals such as tie-ins with fast-food brands, toy companies, and so on.
But that’s what you have to try to do because that’s what the leading films all have going for them.
Not doing it is a huge statement of belief in your movie. Except not in a good way.
So, we start early.
18 months to two years ahead of release is not unusual – and start pitching the film to potential partners. We do that wherever necessary – London, Los Angeles, Cannes, Milan, New York, Sydney – and wherever there is an audience we can engage. We go and pitch the story, show the best creative assets we have available and, where possible, discuss the broad shape of the international marketing campaign.
Ultimately, since film marketing is a process designed to give the audience enough emotional touch-points to guide them towards buying a ticket to see YOUR film, we try to help create those touch-points at every level possible.
Similarly, we liaise between our clients (the studio producing the film) and their international distributors, at every point, with increasing frequency as the film heads towards its release date.
It’s not rocket science but it does require a lot of attention a long way from release.
But like live-action, it all starts with the plan.