I first heard about this project from my clients at Cut + Run who edited “The Gift” a sci-fi thriller directed by Carl Rinsch that is one of the final films produced for the Philips Cinema promotion, now online at www.philips.com/cinema. Brilliant in terms of content, the project was also an exciting exercise in social media promotion…engaging fans to become involved in the build up to the ultimate reveal.
Philips and ad agency DDB approached RSA Films to commission five films under the banner Parallel Lines. 45 RSA Directors submitted concepts surrounding a single script supplied by the agency. From those, five diverse concepts were chosen for production; the result is a testament to both directorial interpretation and social media promotion.
I spoke with RSA Producer Margo Mars who commented: “The project created a friendly in house competition, where directors were keen to show off their style and story at its best. Each film was produced independent of each other, leaving the premiere of the five films a surprise to the directors as to the results of the project. It has been a very creative and challenging project to be involved in for everybody, as much as a group endeavor as a personal project for all.”
At the heart of the campaign, a dedicated Facebook site was launched (www.facebook.com/philipscinema) featuring director interviews, stills, behind-the-scenes clips, and other cinematic viewing experiences. Jake Scott, one of the directors, contributed to the page with an exclusive blog from the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. A trailer for the films was released via the Facebook page and one day before the launch Philips has bought a Facebook ‘reach block’ across 10 global markets whereby all users in those markets saw the trailer on their personal homepage. Leading up to the global reveal, Fans were asked to guess the key words used to script each film and were invited to exclusive live screenings.
In a world first, Parallel Lines’ digital integration included a YouTube homepage masthead in widescreen 21:9 cinematic format, which appeared in seven markets on launch day. It directed consumers to a Philips Cinema channel where they could watch the Parallel Lines trailer in HD quality on Philips widescreen 21:9 Ambiplayer. It was the first time a 21:9 cinematic format media player was used on YouTube.
Now, Philips is inviting the general public to create the sixth film of the series, working within the same creative brief. You can find out about the promotion here: http://www.youtube.com/philipscinema#p/u/1/CMLrDEEsbdk. It’s a great way of continuing the conversation around Philips Cinema and the Parallel Lines experience without any traditional media placement. I know I will be checking out the change to vote publically on the finalists and look forward to seeing the winning submission. Had timing been different I can honestly say that our semi-recent purchase of a flatscreen might have been swayed to Philips or at least encouraged an in-store comparison of the viewing experience. If it can work on someone connected to the advertising industry I can only imagine it resonates with a general audience.