Flow Communications

The latest Marvel film, Venom, released globally on 5 October 2018, opened at number one and fetched an impressive R6.7-million in South African ticket sales on the first weekend of its international launch. R12.5-million was in the FilmFinity’s ticket-sales kitty by the second weekend on the big screen. Despite critics and naysayers taking a bite at Venom’s solo gig, it is clear that the title is holding its own at the box office.

Venom Online Poster Lk 2 900X1272
(Image: MARVEL 2018)

In true Flow Communications style, the PR team at 2 Rosebank Road, in collaboration with the FilmFinity marketing team, played a strategic part in rolling out a media relations plan that would ensure the successful release of Venom (nemesis to Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man) in South Africa.

Understanding audiences and their world is pertinent when delivering key messages that need to land at the right time and through the right channels. Maintaining a fresh perspective on audience insights is key to enabling the delivery of successful localised campaigns, especially when dealing with global brands such as Venom.

Our approach was to break down the audience into bite-sized chunks and to create well-crafted tactics to engage each audience group and the media each consumes. Our focus was on reaching male moviegoers aged 13 to 49, superhero movie fans, Marvel Comics fans, action fans and Tom Hardy fans.

Flow facilitated a partnership with NAG, an online publication dedicated to gaming and tech news. NAG is the go-to place for geeks and gaming enthusiasts hungry for the latest news about their favourite superhero characters and comic franchises.

From the onset, NAG was a great partner in seeding the title’s messaging among core audiences. The first trailer, launched through NAG, was delivered to an eager and influential audience.

This relationship trickled down to other assets of the media company, particularly South Africa’s biggest geek festival, the rAge Expo. At the 2018 rAge, which took place from 5 to 7 October in Johannesburg, 450 copies of limited-edition Venom comic books were distributed to avid gamers, computer buffs and geeks attending the event. This was done with the aid of on-the-ground promoters who created excitement around the release of the movie.

Building up to the rAge weekend, a social media campaign was initiated to sensitise consumers who would be attending the expo. For credibility, we negotiated third-party endorsement with the incredibly diligent team at NAG in the form of retweets via the event’s social media handles.

To incentivise audience participation, people at rAge were asked to take super-cool photos of themselves with their limited-edition Venom comics. By the time the expo drew to a close, fans at rAge were proactively seeking out our promoters in the hope of getting their hands on a copy of the exclusive publication.

Through strategic partnerships like this, the message about the title successfully reached identified target-market sectors.

This is an example of the innovative thinking employed by Flow’s PR team. We constantly aim to deliver the best value for our clients, and we work tirelessly to ensure that they get more bang from their budgets. The partnership between NAG and Venom is but one of the many executions that have ensured the successful release of this movie in South Africa.