Soul Plane Experience Offered Via Full-Screen Trailers

Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen--the Soul Plane is on the runway and ready for takeoff.

The rollicking MGM comedy starring rapper Snoop Dogg hits theaters on May 28, but the Web trailer for the film is live on several sites including Yahoo! Movies. Web ads and the trailer broke May 14. Offline advertising, including out-of-home, hit major markets earlier in the month.

The Web ads for the film were created by Deep Focus, Brooklyn, and feature the trailer. The ads are enabled with Klipmart's Full-Screen technology, which allows viewers to watch a full-screen version of the movie trailer. The film's wacky premise involves Nashawn Wade, who sues an airline and is awarded a big settlement. Nashawn uses the money to create the airline of his dreams. Snoop Dogg stars as the captain of the upstart airline dubbed "Soul Plane." The film's target: 18- to-24-year-old males.

The Klipmart Full-Screen ad works with Java, Flash MX, Windows Media, and QuickTime technology. "We are technology-agnostic," says Chris Young, the company's CEO. Klipmart technology has enabled Web ads for Dreamworks, Time Warner's HBO and New Line Cinema, and Warner Brothers. Klipmart tested the technology during the first quarter with selected clients, then launched it widely on May 4.

"We're trying to provide clients with the richest experience and lots of options," Young says. "The real key that they've picked up on is that this is full-screen, but they have a choice. A lot of Internet advertising can be really in your face. This is user-initiated."

The trailer for "Soul Plane" invites viewers to "click to watch full screen." Copy on the ads reads: "It's a nonstop party taking off May 28."

Some of the ads feature a game dubbed "High-Stepp'in Take-off Game." The game, according to Ian Schaefer, president of Deep Focus, is a spoof on Orbitz-style pop-up games. In one game, a viewer can use a dancing runway traffic person who's directing a plane for takeoff.

Schaefer says that the advantage of Klipmart's format is that it allows viewers to expand ads for Web trailers to full-screen size, which offers an experience similar to TV advertising. All of the advertising is within the page, and when a viewer clicks to choose the "full screen" option, the entire screen is video. Deep Focus clients include MGM, Miramax Films, Dimension Films, and Interscope Records.

Web campaigns for films are buzz-builders and important drivers of box office. "One of the things we always try to do is remove all obstacles of getting someone to see the film," Schaefer says. "With the full-screen option you can watch trailer within the ad unit, and be able to search for movie showtimes and buy tickets."

Some of the ads for the film offers extras such as data on cast members, sound bites, and a game. The ads for the trailer consist of re-purposed footage from the 30-second TV spots. "We're not creating new assets," Schaefer says. The challenge with launching a movie is that "you need a high percentage of the impressions to be seen as frequently as possible," he says, adding: "It's not about click-through--it's about brand exposure."

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