A Private War – Marketing Recap

a private war posterReal-life war correspondent Marie Colvin’s story is being told in this week’s new release A Private War. Rosamund Pike plays Colvin as the movie follows her relentless drive to report from whatever front lines were available at the moment. That means leaving behind relationships and other connections as she seeks to tell the stories of those being marginalized around the world.

After years in the field she and photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) set out to Syria to cover the civil war in that country. That assignment puts them in one of the most dangerous and unpredictable situations they’ve ever been in. The movie is based partly on a Vanity Fair story from years ago about Colvin.

The Posters

The tagline on the poster is one that should be emblazoned on every street corner: “The most powerful weapon is the truth.” That’s the mission Colvin is on, we can assume as we see a photo of her seeking shelter behind sandbags while someone close to the camera holds a rifle.

Another poster was released just recently showing Colvin from behind, with “PRESS” labeling her flak jacket, something that clearly shows she’s in dangerous territory.

The Trailers

The lengths Colvin is willing to go to for a story are immediately laid out in the first trailer, just before we see her fall from an explosion. When she embarks on yet another story she brings a new photographer along, one she has to assure when the insanity of war becomes too much. “Our mission is to speak truth to power,” she says as we see her seek to tell the stories of the people impacted by the decisions of governments. Things get even more dangerous than usual when she heads to Syria, but her determination to tell the story means she can’t stop putting herself on the line.

Online and Social

Not much happening on the official website, which just has the barest of informational bones.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

I haven’t seen any paid efforts of any kind, but it’s possible there will be more coming soon as the movie moves beyond limited release.

Media and Publicity

A first photo showing Pike that included comments from her about how the movie came together was filmed really kicked off the publicity efforts. A bit later it was announced as the opening feature at the Mill Valley Film Festival. The movie benefited when it took the place of Galveston as one of the spotlight screenings at the Toronto Film Festival.

A recent discussion about Colvin and the movie was hosted by The Washington Post, with a panel that included Pike and others from the film as well as Colvin’s sister. Similarly there was a reevaluation of the role female war correspondents have played in history, pointing out how they’ve often been overlooked and put to the side.

Famed singer/songwriter Annie Lennox spoke about how she was approached to write an original song for the movie and how she was reluctant do so, even given her personal connections to Colvin.

Just before release, Pike was interviewed about how she and director Matthew Heinmann worked to capture the real story of what happened and more.


There’s some good stuff here, particularly in how the campaign highlights how vital the bravery of journalists is to democracy, safety and simply doing what’s right when many people aren’t. It’s also a showcase for Pike, who hasn’t been given very meaty roles recently. With those two elements called out not only in the marketing but also the publicity it adds up to a decent push.

Picking Up The Spare

Another interview with Pike covered how she sees the movie as bringing attention to the threats faced by crusading journalists. And Lennox spoke more here about returning to songwriting for the movie.

Stanley Tucci wasn’t a big part of the formal campaign but he was still sent to “Late Night” to talk about the movie.