Summer Flick Markets an Old Teen Sleuth Story with New Tricks

In the classic book series, Nancy Drew needed little more than a flashlight and magnifying glass to uncover clues and solve mysteries. In the upcoming Warner Bros. release “Nancy Drew,” things have changed a bit, as the film’s young heroine tackles hard cases armed with a cell phone.

The film’s marketing program has picked up the theme. Two mini-campaigns promoting the movie use phone interaction to engage users in quizzes and mystery challenges.

As one would expect, the official movie site offers information about the film, a trailer and downloadable media, and promises to add a blog authored by Emma Roberts, the actress who plays the title role. Additionally, in the lower-right corner of the screen, a mobile phone graphic calls on visitors to “Send a real phone call from Emma Roberts!” Clicking on the phone takes users to Nancy Drew Calls You, a microsite crafted by Vibes Media where visitors can trigger a personalized call to their friends. A tool on the site asks questions about the friend, such as what music she listens to and what style of clothes she wears. Those details are used to fill in the blanks in a pre-recorded call using IVR or interactive voice response technology.

The pre-recorded call from Emma Roberts can be sent to a mobile phone or land line, and will leave a voicemail if the call is not answered. Vibes executed a similar call from Fabio for the brand I Can’t Believe It’s Not butter.

“It’s intended to be fun, engaging, useful, and to generate interest in the movie,” said David Gale, director of business development at Vibes.

The site also offers a mystery text game where participants opt in to receive trivia questions via text message. Most answers are found by watching the film’s trailer.

Additionally, Warner Bros. partnered with AOL Mobile on an AOL Mobile Mystery microsite. The nine-week campaign doles out a clue each week for registered participants. Answers are found on partner sites like Alloy, Seventeen magazine, AOL’s WAP site, and in the movie itself.

“Users can find clues in various places,” said Nataki Clarke, director of marketing for AOL Mobile. “Sometimes clues are hidden in the desktop portal for AOL Mobile, partner channels and partner sites.”

Online and offline communications promote the microsite and movie. AOL will run banner ads on its network, and has in-theater advertising. A series of e-mail drops will be sent over the course of the campaign. Collateral will be handed out at YMCA locations and Clarie’s accessory boutiques. AOL also bought time next month on the JumboTron in Times Square.

Both microsites were launched March 15, one month prior to the movie’s release, and will continue for a month afterwards.

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