Why We Went “La La” for La La Land

What made La La Land so successful? Was it the star power of Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and John Legend? Could it have been the amazing music? Perhaps it was the plot and storyline? As it turns out, it was probably all three.

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It seems that Director Damien Chazelle took note in recognizing that “everyone loves a classic” and took the classical route the whole way, including in La La Land’s marketing plans. While Lionsgate still utilized all advertising platforms expected of movies these days, La La Land did it in a way reminiscent of years ago, nodding to classic film aspects that La La Land references. The quality of the posters speak for themselves:

Of course, it would have been quite the impressive fail had the star power of Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and John Legend not brought the views in as well. For Chazelle to be lucky enough that Gosling and Stone had wonderful chemistry on set was the cherry on top: La La Land would be a hit.

La La Land was a hit of course, with the combined help of stars, posters, and trailer releases that did great, coming second only to Lion on Facebook likes/followers and official trailer views in the Academy Awards Social Media Competition, and ranking first on YouTube trailer comment growth with flying colors.  (See Here for more of Fanbridge’s charts) To add to their social media success, they also had ranked number one on Instagram follower growth.

A few well-known YouTube stars such as Dodie Clarke and Jon Cozart helped La La Land and shared their own talents with the world with a cover of the hit song “City of Stars” on YouTube.

The hits don’t stop on social media, as the soundtrack took Austin Texas by storm; so much so, that FonsPR decided to re-create “A Lovely Night” dance sequence in honor of the film.

While star power, music, posters and social media are all great for La La Land, it is surely the plot that carries the film full circle. The film was not marketed as a regular modern romance, because it simply wouldn’t have reflected the feel of the film. How perfect that the marketing campaign mimicked that of a 1950’s Hollywood musical! Rather than marketing it as a romance, they focused on the musical theatre element, which brings a comeback sense of nostalgia. What audience doesn’t love to reminisce?

As stated before, they did not ignore social media, however they had to play this strategically since it was marketed similarly to that of an older film. They did this by keeping the posters, pictures and video under the nostalgic lens, keeping the older-film feel (even if it was viewed online). Though difficult, they played this successfully as La La Land quickly became one of the most talked about films online.

The film was initially released in early December, primed for awards season. La La Land doubled its screens (to 1500) the weekend that it won 7 Golden Globe awards. Due to its success, celebrities and press coverage gave La La Land some well-deserved recognition, adding to its success. See here for more details.

The marketing campaign did not end after the release date. While La La Land may have gotten a “Love it or Hate it” response, everyone can agree that such response certainly got people talking. So much so in fact, that Jimmy Fallon parodied the opening scene of La La Land to the opening  of the golden globes. To read more about La La Land’s campaign, see here.

While the film may not be for everyone, there is almost always something that can be found to reach everyone’s liking. Whether it is the actors who brought the public in, the music, the romance or even the vibrant colors, La La Land is a film that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

What were your first impressions of La La Land? Do you think La La Land’s different approach to marketing was effective?

Madison Steffen

2 thoughts on “Why We Went “La La” for La La Land

  1. I agree that within this film there is something to be found for everyone’s liking, for me that would have to be the outstanding cast. However, my first impressions of La La Land were not that positive. Based off of the TV trailer that I saw I didn’t have a clear idea of what the film was about. Maybe this technique worked for most people to intrigue them to go find out at the theaters, but for me it just solidified the fact that I wasn’t interested, even after the trailer. Speaking broadly, I do think that using the nostalgic approach did boost the positive effect of this film’s marketing campaign because it was something audiences hadn’t seen in a while or at all. Having a fresh approach, even if that means bringing back an old-fashion version, helps distinguish La La Land from other movies.

  2. I think La La Land had all of the right pieces for a great movie. Great acting, good music, a great story and so on. The marketing of the movie fit with setting of movie, which definitely helped the movie get more attention and become more successful.

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