Ask any author, artist, or musician about the PR surrounding their latest offering and the persistent complaint is almost always the same: The Marketing and PR departments had no idea what they were doing. The PR was weak, uncoordinated, and didn’t happen. The PR punched below its weight. No one, it seems, is ever satisfied.
One example that seems, so far, to have broken that convention is the advance PR for The Great Gatsby. The latest film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel of the same name, the movie was directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann and stars Leonardo di Caprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. Opening in the summer, its launch has been preceded by a slick PR campaign that has covered all the bases.
From Mulligan’s cover on the May issue of Vogue to a lengthy feature in Architectural Digest about the sets used in the film, magazines have been waxing lyrical about the movie. Venerable retailer Brooks Bros. has just launched a fashion line in honor of the film, launched with an exhibition of the film’s costumes in London. Stage two involves a blizzard of interviews with the director and cast about Gatsby and its hold on America. This PR is firing on all cylinders.
THE PR VERDICT: “A” (PR Perfect) for Gatsby’s PR campaign.
THE PR TAKEAWAY: Start with a myth and work from there. What’s impressive about the PR building up to the film’s opening is how pervasive the coverage has been. From an elaborate social media program that has strategically placed the movie trailer on multiple sites to articles and interviews highlighting the fashion and interiors of America’s favorite age, this is one launch that has taken full advantage of the public’s ongoing fascination with the Gatsby myth. It goes to prove that with good material and strategic thinking, PR can launch a punch way above its weight.