Maple Pictures lures sci-fi fans further into The Fourth Kind

Toronto-based film distributor uses QR codes in movie posters for its newest flick, giving a uniquely Canadian sci-fi spin to the film's marketing effort and opening the door to new brand partnership and sponsorship opportunities.

If there was ever a film audience Maple Pictures thought would be receptive to QR codes embedded in its advertising, it’s that of Maple’s latest film, sci-fi thriller The Fourth Kind.

Every poster for the Nov. 6-released film includes a 2D QR code for users to capture on their smart phones, a technology presented to them by their MAOR, Initiative Media, in tandem with media solutions provider Crucial Interactive. When the photo is taken, the user’s mobile browser is activated and they are directed to a film-branded landing page and a ‘continue’ link. If ‘yes’ is selected, the browser is directed to the film’s mobile trailer.

‘The media strategy here is to create instant engagement at the time that the poster is first seen and viewed by a user,’ says Petar Bozinovski, president, Crucial Interactive. ‘Skuyou [QR code technology] is an innovative bridge media tool that brings multi-platform media campaigns to life by providing the integration of out of home and print or direct mail, offering full convergence.’

This fall marks the second time Maple has integrated QR codes into its advertising – the first was with the Oct. 30 film More Than a Game – and its inclusion gives their film’s marketing a unique Canadian spin, according to Joanna Miles, director, marketing, Maple Pictures.

‘This title was perfect,’ Miles said of The Fourth Kind. ‘QR codes are geared towards males 18 to 34 and teens, they are among the biggest users of text, mobile phones, and we thought this was a way we can make it more interesting for them to see the trailer. It’s a sci-fi, alien-abduction film, and that’s perfect for that age group and it really lends itself to that technology.’

Now that the technology is in place, the distributor hopes to increase its brand partnership opportunities through QR code-activated contests, in which users could scan the code to enter, with sponsorship of the code-activated landing page.