How Sony Pictures Classics is selling a story of hubris among the obscenely rich.
Director Michael Winterbottom has worked with Steve Coogan on a number of occasions, notably The Trip series, which has a fourth entry coming later in the year. This week sees the release of Greed. In the movie Coogan stars as Sir Richard McCreadie, a billionaire who made his fortune in the fashion industry. McCreadle is about to celebrate his 60th birthday and wants to do so in a suitably opulent manner.
Part of that includes a profile being written about him by Nick (David Mitchell), who has been assigned the story by his editor. Nick is then witness to both the disaster that is the planning of the party, much of which is supervised by Richard’s wife Samantha (Isla Fisher) and to the fact that such gaudy displays of wealth are in stark contrast to the conditions of the workers in McCreadle’s empire.
The marketing for the movie has been relatively short but certainly sells a dry comedy of class warfare and the bubble that comes with success.
“The devil is in the retail” says the copy on the one poster, hoping to emphasize the story’s setting in the retail industry as well as the fact that McCreadle isn’t a good guy. He’s shown smiling broadly, his golden tanned skin and sunglasses making it clear he’s lounging somewhere luxurious. It’s an utterly ridiculous picture of someone blissfully unaware of how he looks.
January’s first trailer (4,300 views on YouTube) opens by introducing us to McCreadie, an obscenely rich individual who is having his life chronicled by Nick. McCreadie’s fortune, we see, wasn’t made in what could be considered consistently ethical ways, though, and he and his family are preparing for some image rehabilitation. Some bad press means that isn’t going to go according to plan, but he thinks the bigger the show the less such things will matter. It’s a clear satire of the super-rich and looks hilarious.
Online and Social
The page for the movie on Sony Classics’ site is just a placeholder, a place for the studio to have the trailer, since that’s about it.
Advertising and Promotions
The movie was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics in September, right around the time it was debuting at last year’s Toronto Film Festival.
Media and Press
There were some interviews with Coogan where he talked about the story of the movie and more, but many of those went off-topic and started getting into updates on The Trip and so on.
I want more. That’s my main takeaway from the campaign: that it’s not enough.
What is there, though, is clearly designed to appeal to fans of Coogan’s, especially his previous collaborations with Winterbottom. The story is relevant to today’s news as we debate income inequality and other topics, but viewed through the lens of dry satire.
That’s going to be very attractive for some in the audience, myself included.
Picking Up The Spare
Missed this clip of the family at the center of the story having a very privileged conversation.
An interview with Coogan had him dismissing concerns that the real life subject being parodied might be offended by his portrayal. An appearance on “The Tonight Show” covered the movie as well as Coogan’s knack for impressions.
Additional online ads have been run that use the key art image of Coogan’s bronzed and smiling face.
Sony put out an extended preview shortly after the movie was in theaters.