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CREATIVE STRATEGY: Prometheus and stealing fire at TED

While all is chaos and misery for the Greeks, for the geeks all is lovely in the garden (excepting George Lucas's 'Star Wars' cash-ins).

Prometheus: Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland delivers his 2023 TED address

Prometheus: Guy Pearce as Peter Weyland delivers his 2023 TED address

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Because, consider the following: gaming is one of the few industries experiencing growth and creativity – every Marvel and DC Comics character you ever knew is being brought to the screen; 'Dr Who' and 'Sherlock Holmes' go from strength to strength, and, in a sublimely surreal casting, ‘Have I Got News For You’ was recently hosted by the original 'James T. Kirk' himself, William Shatner.  

On top of all this, the best-ever sci-fi/horror movie franchise is about to get its prequel. 'Alien' was Ridley Scott at his best. And now he's back at the helm for 'Prometheus'.

With Scott's credentials, did the film need much in the way of marketing? Well, having blown about $130m on production, the Hollywood suits couldn’t resist hyping the flick just to make darn sure of the ROI.

Now, as I have written before in this column, most advertising for films is as dull and predictable as, well, anything starring Jennifer Aniston. So I wasn’t surprised to see business as usual on the 'Prometheus' project – stills and trailers abound.

But, unlike most movie marketing, there have been genuine moments of innovation, intelligence and, would you believe it, wit.  

All brands dream of their customers doing their advertising for them. ‘Prometheus’ went further and encouraged viewers of a trailer in a TV ad break to tweet their friends about the release. In the following break, the tweets of awesomeness were duly relayed, creating more consumer-generated buzz.

Even the more conventional ads have taken some unusual angles – like the creepy interview with synthetic person ‘David’. And then, for the first time ever, an advertiser has hijacked the concept of the TED talks in this film:

Here the man behind the infamous 'Company' in the ‘Alien' films, 'Peter Weyland', sets out his vision to a TED audience. It’s immaculately produced, only the ramped-up scale of the TED arena doesn't quite ring true.

That quibble aside, if I hadn't booked my tickets for 'Prometheus', I would have certainly done so!

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones

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