trollhunters: rise of the titans – marketing recap

How Netflix has sold its animated feature based on a hit series.

The three seasons of “Trollhunters” have been popular on Netflix. Created by Guillermo del Toro and produced by DreamWorks Animation, the series follows a group of teenage friends who find they must protect the world from all manner of mystical monsters and other threats.

Now the story concludes in the feature-length Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans. In the movie, the group of teenage protectors, led by James “Jim” Lake Jr., (voiced by Emile Hirsch) and Aja (voiced by Tatiana Maslany) must stop the threat posed by the Arcane Order and their massive Titans and keep the world safe.

Netflix’s campaign has relied heavily on the popularity of the three previous series, selling the film as a culmination of everything that’s come before.

The Posters

The first poster, released in mid-June, shows the assembled team of heroes – human or otherwise – as they are prepared to face some unseen threat. There’s not a whole lot of information about the story, but those familiar with the series will be able to identify who’s who and make some conclusions about what to expect.

The same characters are shown on the second poster, released earlier this week. This time they’re posed on a building rooftop, the massive Titans they are facing off against looming in the background.

The Trailers

Finally the first trailer (800,000 views on YouTube) came out in mid-June. A war between mankind and magic is coming, we’re told, as we see the teen heroes told about the emergence of ancient titans determined to destroy civilization. There’s a lot of humor and a lot of action, both of which are familiar to anyone who’s seen the series, and overall it looks like a lot of fun.

Online and Social

Advertising, Publicity and Promotions

Netflix announced in August, 2020 that the movie would be coming some time in 2021, acting as a conclusion to the popular series.

A short teaser from late April finally made the movie’s release date official.

This was one of a few features Dreamworks promoted at the 2021 Annecy Animation Festival in June.

The cast appeared in a video released at the beginning of July warning people of the dangers of cyberbullying and telling anyone who’s been the victim of it to not fight back but to report the harassment.

Netflix put out the first few minutes of the video to help get people excited and show what they could look forward to.

Overall

Netflix hasn’t made as big a deal about this movie as it has for other recent releases, particularly the Fear Street trilogy, but the smaller campaign has played well to the elements that have made the original series successful. There’s a good deal of humor as well as the promise of plenty of supernatural action and adventure, which is exactly what fans are likely to expect. There could have been more done to pull in some new fans and explain how it concludes the three series already available, but that’s a relatively minor quibble in an otherwise solid push.