Universal Pictures has launched a first-of-its-kind marketing campaign on Facebook to promote the studio's upcoming action-comedy movie Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy. The Facebook app, Heist It Back, lets you hunt for Heist buttons hidden on Facebook Pages and Facebook Ads. Universal says it is giving away 1 million Facebook Credits ($100,000) in total.
Universal says you will get a few Facebook Credits every time you click a Heist button, get your friends to join the heist, or share a story of how you got your own brand of payback. The unique promotion idea was conceived by interactive agency The Branding Farm and digital goods incentive technology company Ifeelgoods.
"Creating engaging experiences that bring a film's story to life online is our mission," Doug Neil, Senior Vice President, Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures, said in a statement. "We view 'Heist It Back' as an innovative way to allow fans to interact with Tower Heist's characters and storyline, have fun by participating in their own heist on Facebook and earn valuable credits that enrich their experiences online."
"We believe the future of marketing movies involves extending the storyline of a film into real life in a way that is relevant, exciting and interactive for the audience," Hill Salomon, The Branding Farm, said in a statement. "Universal, along with Ifeelgoods and The Branding Farm, is pioneering a brand new way to extend the excitement of a movie to its fans' lives via the appeal of digital goods and social interactions on Facebook," Ifeelgoods CEO Michael Amar said in a statement.
The movie's plot is simple: a group of hard-working individuals find out they've fallen victim to a wealthy business man's Ponzi scheme, so they conspire to rob his high-rise residence. Tower Heist arrives in theaters on November 4, 2011.
As a side note, when I saw this trailer in theatres a few months ago, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I liked the plot of the movie, but I was also a bit disappointed that it gave away so much of the story. Universal clearly thinks Tower Heist will be hugely successful as it is willing to use it, as opposed to some other movie, for this Facebook push.