The marketing campaign for Hunt for the Wilderpeople has won the gong for Best Independent Distributor Marketing campaign at the annual NZ Motion Picture Industry Council (NZMPIC) awards. The film also won the Flicks Critics Choice Award for best NZ Film
Distributors Madman Entertainment and producers Piki Films partnered with Philippa Atkinson and Devon Roberts of Mediaworkshop (Media Strategy), Anna Dean of Double Denim (Digital and Sponsorship Strategy) and Chris Henry of 818 Entertainment (Publicity) to create the campaign, which delivered levels of engagement across both audiences and channels never seen before for a local title – as well as the more bankable $11.5 million in takings to date. The film also broke box office records for opening weekend ($1.2 million) and single day for a local film ($528,000).
“The Madman team are absolutely thrilled to be recognised by the industry for the immense team effort that has gone into the marketing of this film,” said Mark Chamberlain, Theatrical Sales Manager at Madman Entertainment. “The collaboration created a campaign that has really got into the hearts and minds of everyday Kiwis and in return delivered an exceptional box office result.”
Several of those who worked on the campaign were winners of the same award at last year’s NZMPIC for Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do In The Shadows.
The digital content marketing strategy for Wilderpeoplecreated a large amount of bespoke content in collaboration with partners and brands including Air New Zealand, TradeMe, Tuatara and government departments including the Department of Conservation, Tourism NZ and the New Zealand Defence Force. This led to high online exposure and engagement in the lead up to release.
Taika Waititi, Julian Dennison and Sam Neill generated plenty of media interest around the film’s release – continuing to garner very positive coverage s they’d received on premiere at Sundance – and are now receiving as the film begins its releases in other territories.
“This film was made for all Kiwis so it was important everyone felt included from day one of its release,” said Carthew Neal, producer and distributor. “We worked closely with exhibitors across the country to create a nationwide community of local advocates. The team was agile and extremely hard-working. It was a challenging but rewarding experience.”
12 weeks after release, the film remains in the top 10 and is now NZ’a highest-earning local feature.