The Red Sea Diving Resort – Marketing Recap

red sea diving resort posterChris Evans stars as in this week’s new Netflix-exclusive release The Red Sea Diving Resort. Evan plays Ari Levinson, a Mossad agent who along with his team is sent on a mission to rescue Ethiopian Jews who have fled that country only to become refugees in Sudan.

Because their mission is one the local government is not in favor of, the team has to operate under the cover of being visitors to a local resort, using that as a front to move refugees on their way to Israel. Aiding them is Kabede Bimro (Michael Kenneth Williams) a local leader sympathetic to the mission of Levinson and his team who helps them evade the danger that seems to be lurking around every corner.

The Posters

Evans and Williams are the biggest element of the poster, their faces shown in the middle of what seems to be a heated and possibly dangerous conversation. The whole design, including the smaller photos of some of the supporting players at the bottom, is tinged in dark reds and browns to make sure the audience understands it’s set in Africa. Various copy elements explain this is a true story and offer some details as to what that story entails.

The Trailers

A team has been assembled for a dangerous mission in, the trailer eventually shows us, late-70s Ethiopia. That mission, organized by the Mossad, is to smuggle Jewish families out of the Sudan as it’s in the midst of chaos resulting in countless lives lost. Moved to action by the stories and people they encounter, the team expands the mission to save other refugees despite the threat they all face from warlords and military leaders unhappy with foreigners becoming involved in their business.

Online and Social

Nothing here, as is normal for Netflix.

Advertising and Publicity

Netflix purchased the rights to the movie in February of this year, picking them up from Fox Searchlight, who had originally purchased the rights in 2015 but then held the film back since production was completed in 2017.

The movie screened at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival just this past weekend.

Media and Press

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much going on here either. A few stories explored the real events that inspired the movie, but most of the mainstream U.S. press and entertainment sites just made lame “Captain Israel” jokes about Evans and his beard.

Overall

There’s nothing really wrong here, it’s just that there’s also nothing about the campaign that makes it seem like a must-watch. That includes offering little in the way of additional information or background about a historical incident that likely isn’t well known among good chunks of the audience.

Selling it as an action thriller instead of a history lesson may have seemed like the safe choice but it also means the issues behind the events depicted don’t seem to be explored in any great depth. Not every feature needs to be a documentary, but it’s possible to moderate between action and education. The campaign doesn’t make it seem like that line was walked successfully.

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