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The Coraline Boxes
December 22, 2008 3:21 PM   Subscribe

The makers of the soon to be released movie Coraline put together 50 unique boxes that were mailed to 50 different bloggers. Each box contained items that were used in the making of the movie along with letters and photographs.

So far, 22 of those bloggers have posted about the contents of the box they received.
::1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::
:::11::12::13::14::15::16::17:::
:::18::19::20::21::22::23::24:::
:::25::26::27::28::29::30::31:::
:::32::33::34::35::36::37::38:::
:::39::40::41::42::43::44::45:::
:::46::47::48::49::50::::via
posted by Sailormom (36 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Bonus : 28 different posters for the movie reminiscent of the Ghastlycrumb tinies.
posted by Sailormom at 3:22 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's some pretty awesome marketing.
posted by Del Far at 3:33 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I presume the movie deals with a crazed Swedish amateur philosopher who sets out on a quest to create an ad for a ski resort?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:37 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy mackerel, this is awesome! Should keep me busy for quite a while. (Boy those folks are lucky!) Thanks for posting this.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 3:48 PM on December 22, 2008


Fantastic. Thanks!
posted by Manhasset at 4:10 PM on December 22, 2008


That's some pretty awesome marketing.

Expensive, too.
posted by terranova at 4:10 PM on December 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


After opening the third one, I realized I was saying "Ohhhhhhhhhh!" aloud each time!
posted by typewriter at 4:19 PM on December 22, 2008


Innovative.

Although strictly speaking, "marketing" is when you sell your product to the public. "Bribery" is when you exchange goods or cash for preferential treatment by people who are supposed to be impartial.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:20 PM on December 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm so excited about this movie, when I think of it, I have trouble breathing.
posted by BabySeven at 4:34 PM on December 22, 2008


Box format reminds me of Joseph Cornell, and the echoes of him in William Gibson's Count Zero.

Box-assemblages as art (or as anything) is a very rich idea, I think. I have a story on the subject.
posted by grobstein at 4:35 PM on December 22, 2008


So you are a reasonably famous blogger. Famous for, maybe, HAVING OPINIONS. And then one day you get a strange box in the mail...

Great marketing?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:43 PM on December 22, 2008


"Bribery" is when you exchange goods or cash for preferential treatment by people who are supposed to be impartial.

No, bribery is when you exchange goods or cash to gain an unlawful advantage. Bloggers aren't public officials, you can't bribe them. And where do you get the idea that they are supposed to be impartial?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:51 PM on December 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I will see this movie in a cinema. Virality accomplished!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:56 PM on December 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Some MSM outlets would require their critics to return the boxes, as they only allow their staff to accept trinkets of little worth. From the New York Times' Ethics in Journalism Policy:
"A3. Protecting Our Neutrality
35. Staff members and those on assignment for us may not accept anything that could be construed as a payment for favorable coverage or for avoiding unfavorable coverage. They may not accept gifts, tickets, discounts, reimbursements or other benefits from individuals or organizations covered (or likely to be covered) by their newsroom. Gifts should be returned with a polite explanation; perishable gifts may instead be given to charity, also with a note to the donor. In either case the objective of the note is, in all politeness, to discourage future gifts."

posted by terranova at 5:04 PM on December 22, 2008


They go to all the trouble of hand crafting beautiful unique objects, but each blogger gets a form-letter with "insert name here".

Still, that's pretty awesome.
posted by robotot at 5:05 PM on December 22, 2008


I have never heard of any of these blogs. Coraline's marketing campaign is thus having the opposite effect on me - I'm actually more likely to visit these blogs as a result of this stunt, and not the other way around. As an avid Neil Gaiman follower that watches nearly every animated movie in the theater, they've sold me on ... these rather obscure (to me) blogs.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:08 PM on December 22, 2008


They go to all the trouble of hand crafting beautiful unique objects, but each blogger gets a form-letter with "insert name here".

The penultimate paragraph of each is customized, though they're all similar to a point that it's kind of funny, especially because the point of these letters was to be published online for hype. Here are three, and the rest are here:

"The plain truth of the matter is, we are pretty obsessed with mysterious storytelling. Like you. That’s why we admire Despoiler.org. We like your devotion to discovery. And share your cross-all-bounds approach to following the trail from beginning to end. Enjoy the hunt. The braver you are, the more you’ll see. Please keep up the super work. We’ll be reading."

"We are pretty obsessed with animating and miniature models. Like you. That's why we admire Tomopop. Your contributions are fun and we like your devotion to discovery. We used old school craftsmanship and new 3D rapid prototype technology to build incredible detail into the props on our film. We hope someone like you will appreciate this."

"We are real fans of Neil Gaiman. Like you. That's why we admire stainlesssteeldroppings. It's wise. It's articulate. It carries behind it a real sense of thoughtfulness toward the tenets of storytelling that we and Neil share. Neil's been to the set of our movie and each visit has been inspiring. We've tried very hard to keep true to his magical vision."
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:22 PM on December 22, 2008


I wonder what the bloggers were expecting when they supplied their snail mail addresses.
posted by exogenous at 5:30 PM on December 22, 2008


grobstein lets hear your story.
posted by Sailormom at 5:39 PM on December 22, 2008


This example of marketing reminds me of that of The Blair Witch Project's -- a brilliant tickle but let's hope the product comes through...
posted by rleamon at 5:39 PM on December 22, 2008


I loved this book.
posted by joannemerriam at 6:20 PM on December 22, 2008


Came for Neuromancer... fail.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:08 PM on December 22, 2008


My friend Amy (8) got one of these and it is AMAZING. Lots and lots of photos here. I can't believe how beautiful and intricate it is.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:38 PM on December 22, 2008


I think this is awesome. I wish I got one. :(
posted by empath at 10:39 PM on December 22, 2008


Bloggers aren't public officials, you can't bribe them.

Disk Jockeys aren't public officials either, but the payola scandals rocked the radio world for a while there.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:39 PM on December 22, 2008


Actually, not marketing or bribery. It's Public Relations and now you're talking about it.

Cynicism aside, this shit is gorgeous, and though Mirror Mask was a bit disappointing, I plan on seeing this.
posted by OrangeDrink at 1:42 AM on December 23, 2008


Interesting marketing tactic. For the bloggers, not only do they get the box, they get a lot of cross-promotional linkage. How were the bloggers chosen? Obviously they probably all get decent web traffic, but are they mostly pop culture/movie bloggers? The only blog I recognize right away is Cleolinda, who does entertaining movie recaps, "Movies in Fifteen Minutes."
posted by five_dollars at 3:35 AM on December 23, 2008


my favourite is the knittyblog box, from type of box, to latch, to the super awesome tools inside.
posted by By The Grace of God at 5:34 AM on December 23, 2008


Yeah, I saw this through Cleolinda, too, and I thought she was a pretty good choice (her readers are big on movies). And ohgod, those boxes are so gorgeous! Makes me want to do box art.
posted by marginaliana at 6:40 AM on December 23, 2008


This isn't like payola because disc jockeys are the purveyors of the artform not (essentially) critics. It's more like the way Studios bribe theaters to play their films and not others. But I digress. Bribing critics seems ok to me, especially with whimsical and clever stuff like this. This isn't my kind of film, but the idea is generous enough for me to give it a shot (if I can find a date who wants to go too). (Note to self: find nerdy girlfriend by February) (or sooner).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:22 AM on December 23, 2008


Well, I want to see that movie now.
(I would have wanted to see it even if they hadn't sent out these beautiful I-want-ones out. Neil Gaimen had me at hello.)
posted by Bageena at 12:39 PM on December 23, 2008


mefi's own me3dia got one, but I haven't seen it on his blog yet ('course, he's on vacation).
posted by desjardins at 1:50 PM on December 23, 2008


And the creative marketing continues. Yesterday, Neil Gaimen posted on his journal a letter he received from Lauren that read,

"Hi!
Have you seen/heard about the Coraline keys yet? I was on my way to work yesterday and walked past a boarded up building that is usually covered by posters and pretty wonderful street art.
Yesterday it was covered with keys. I looked closer and realized that the tops of they keys were buttons, and grabbed one because they were lovely looking. They were also made of metal, and had a good heft. Once I realized that they were for Coraline, I grabbed a BUNCH (there were literally at LEAST a hundred)
."


And now “The Other Mother” is sending out button boxes.
posted by Sailormom at 6:29 PM on December 23, 2008


They seem to be aggressively advertising this movie. In my city I have seen two downtown empty storefronts converted into giant ads, one with a flat screen T.V. showing whatever was on the sidewalk in front of it.
posted by Suparnova at 9:58 AM on December 24, 2008


Neil Gaiman mentions this thread and responds:

"I was amused by the people who equated sending a blogger a box with the 50s payola scandals, which seems rather to miss the point: there's no quid pro quo here, and nothing you can do in order to get a box, apart from have a cool blog."
posted by yellowbinder at 12:14 PM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


What Suparnova said - the former Disney store on Union Square in SF is doing that. The screen is currently doing animations, though, like someone spelling out "help us" on the fogged side of the glass.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:25 PM on January 3, 2009


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