AOL Instant Messenger Plays Part In New Movie
Characters in the teen-oriented thriller will prominently use AOL properties to send each other e-mails, text messages, and instant messages, said Christine Laredo, a senior marketing manager with AOL. She added that the cross-promotional deal came about after the moviemakers approached AOL. "They wrote a movie about young adults who use instant messaging--the movie was being filmed in Richmond, Virginia and AOL is in Dulles, and they contacted us and asked if they could use our brand," she said.
AOL's end of the deal is to create buzz for the film, primarily using AOL Instant Messenger and AOL's mobile division. In addition to a game built with the AIM platform, AOL is also sponsoring a sweepstakes in which players in an online horror trivia game can win tickets to Los Angeles to meet the cast of the movie; an AIM buddy, which, when messaged, automatically messages back with showtimes, facts about the movie, and allows users to vote in polls; and an AOL journal penned by the director, where he counts down the number of days to the release and includes notes from the crew and behind-the-scenes shots.
Laredo added that as the Sept. 16 release date nears, more traditional online ads for the movie itself will be rolling out. As of Tuesday, the ads on AIM Today and embedded in the AIM program are for AOL's promotional sweepstakes.