I Care A Lot – Marketing Recap

How Netflix has sold a story that asks audiences to sympathize with a con artist.

The new movie I Care A Lot, out today on Netflix, seems to have as its premise “What if we made a film about John Mahoney’s character from Say Anything…, but with Rosamund Pike instead of Mahoney?” Pike plays Marla Grayson, a woman who has created a nice racket for herself as a court-appointed guardian for elderly individuals. Once she has control of their assets, she funnels them into various shady investments, pocketing the profits and leaving the estates with almost nothing. When Grayson sets her sights on her latest mark, Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest), she inadvertently runs afoul of a local gangster (Peter Dinklage) and is forced to think even faster than usual to get out of a dangerous situation.

Written and directed by J Blakeson, the movie has a solid 81% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has gotten a quick, breezy campaign from Netflix that plays up Pike’s turn as a fast-talking con artist.

The Posters

The first poster, released in January, has Grayson wearing sunglasses as she looks toward the camera, her hair perfect through the title treatment, shown here in big, bold letters. A pull quote calling the film “deliciously nasty” is shown near the Toronto International Film Festival branding.

A series of pop-art-esque character posters came out earlier this week, continuing the trend of visuals using just a few bold colors to really make the photos jump in the eyes of the audience.

The Trailers

Mid-January brought the release of the first trailer (1.6m views on YouTube), which introduces Marla as a professional carer, albeit one who might be a bit of a scammer as well. While much of what she does is barely legal, she’s warned not to further harass one woman in particular, someone who has dangerous and powerful friends. Marla is unperturbed, though and continues on with business as usual, confident she’ll come out on top.

Online and Social

Nothing here, at least nothing unique. Netflix gave the movie a bit of support on brand social channels, though.

Advertising and Promotions

Netflix acquired the film in September, shortly after its well-received debut at the Toronto Film Festival.

A short clip released just as the movie became available shows Grayson getting some new and potentially valuable information from an attorney (played by Chris Messina) for Peterson’s powerful friends.

Media and Press

Blakeson, Pike and others were interviewed about the story and why they got involved in the project during TIFF.

Both Gonzalez and Pike appeared on “Kimmel” within a day or so of each other to talk about the film.


It’s surprising there hasn’t been more on the promotional and publicity fronts, especially given the positive reviews Pike’s performance has received. But you can’t say the campaign doesn’t make a point to highlight that performance, one that pops off the screen in the trailer just like the image does on the bold-hued posters.

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.

Beirut – Marketing Recap

beirut posterWe’re traveling back to the world of 1982 international politics in the new thriller Beirut, a world of cultivating sources and on-the-ground investigations into terrorist networks, before Twitter bots and state election board hacking. Jon Hamm plays Mason Skiles, a government diplomat who left the country a decade ago after the death of his wife and family.

Now he’s being called back in by a pair of the State Department because his former partner, someone Skiles left behind when he exited the country, has been taken hostage by a militant group. The Feds want Skiles to negotiate for his release before he breaks under what’s sure to be intense interrogation and torture. Helping Skiles in this is undercover CIA operative Sandy Crowder (Rosamund Pike), though as usual her allegiances are fluid and subject to agendas not everyone knows about.

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Hostiles – Marketing Recap

hostiles posterThe new movie Hostiles takes the audience back to 1892 for a story about learning compassion for your fellow human being, no matter who they are or what your view of them might be. Christian Bale stars as Capt. Joseph J. Blocker, a soldier on the frontier of New Mexico who’s given an assignment he doesn’t want: Transport Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) back to his tribal land in Montana before he dies.

Blocker has a long-standing hatred of Yellow Hawk and other Native Americans but reluctantly does his duty. As they travel they encounter Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike), a widow who they offer to help and who joins their party. Through the trials and hardships they encounter along the way they all gain a respect and understanding for each other that challenges their previous beliefs. It’s a lesson we could all stand to hear again.

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