Angus, a colleague of ours over at OMD UK sent me a link to the new Spike Jonz film that has been made in association with Absolute yesterday. If you have not seen this yet you really have to visit www.imheremovie.com. It is an incredible piece of work.
As Absolute say on their website, they believe that 'doing things differently leads to something exceptional'. The result of this belief is the 30 minute short film made by Jonz (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are) that was put on general release through the website on the 19th March.
The movie, a love story between a boy and girl (both robots) was a huge hit at the Sundance film festival earlier this year and it had a subsequent premiere in Shoreditch on the 22nd February that was seeded online and around London.
Today, 5000 people can view it online each day for free. Once you visit the site you are taken to a virtual box office cashier who gives you the options of viewing the trailer, movie, extras and more. When you click on the movie, then comes the really cute part, as they allows you to invite and watch the movie with your friends online through facebook connect.
By using Connect they are able to take your profile picture and give you your personalised cinema ticket. That's me below..
From here you head in to the cinema to find your seat looking out for your friends in the process. The image below is of a person texting me in the virtual cinema, then waving to say 'I'm Here'.
To say that by this point I was impressed is an understatement, so if you have not yet seen this you should give it a try yourself asap.
The site also offers a teaser trailer, bonus material and additional information on the director and cast. Having watched the movie it made me wonder if this is the way more and more films will be distributed in the future. Maybe not for free, but it is an interesting prospect. I can easily imagine die hard fans paying to see things early at a fee, or for people across the world to go to the cinema 'together' so to speak.
Though it was premiered at film festivals, it's is also a commercial for Absolute. In effect the film is a strategy for reintroducing the brand to audiences increasingly impervious to traditional advertising. In making the film, Figliulio and Bijarchi of TBWA gave Jonze a brief to write and direct a film depicting creativity conquering conformity. The budget for the short film was about the same as a superbowl ad according to an article about it in Fast Company. What we don't obviously know is whether the investment will translate in to greater sales, awareness or affinity for the brand. Time will tell, but for now, take your seat and enjoy.