Film marketing campaigns costs & Stranger Things 2

Marketing campaign costs of most Hollywood blockbusters have always been a mystery for me.

What the fuck do they do with all that money?

Well, TV surely eats a huge amount of it:


A rule of thumb would be that marketing and promoting costs are 30-50% compared to the films official budget, but – attention! – these costs are not included in the actual budget, so when you check Wiki or Mojo for how much some recent blockbuster did cost, remember to add roughly 40%, just to get the idea.

“In 1980, the average cost of marketing a studio movie in the U.S. was $4.3 million ($12.4 million in today’s dollars). By 2007, it had shot up to nearly $36 million,” as is stated here.

I know that most people reading this blog are from the USA and maybe you, guys, think these things are obvious, but here in Europe things are slightly different (and in average the USA have the highest TV consumption per person in the world). There are other things to take into consideration too, but it wasn’t my intention to discuss it here.

So when going out today I was literally shocked by seeing this…


Ok, cool, you’ll say, right, but you don’t really get the context, I suppose. Same telephone booth, another angle:

Yep, that’s one of the most visited places in Europe, Milan’s delicious Duomo. But that’s not just it. If you go down in the local subway, it’s literally all covered with “Stranger Things” promotions, it is always crowded so I took photos only of these…

…but there is much, much more, and the posters are very creative. There are even upside down posters!

Now I see there they spend the money. Just buying a place like that right in the center of Milan costs a lot, and Italy rarely allows something that may damage the cultural image of the buildings (for example, most shops are forced to use the signboard of similar colour to the building if it is a historical one, and bright colours are not allowed in a historical center of any city).

And it’s no wonder. “Stranger Things” seems one of Netflix’s most marketable original shows. They created a partnershir campaings with Spotify, Lyft, Kellog’s and many others.

Well done, Netflix! Now people like me do a free promotion of your show.


How are “Stranger Things 2” promoted in your town? I’ll like to know it too!

26 thoughts on “Film marketing campaigns costs & Stranger Things 2

  1. I haven’t seen anything here for Stranger Things, strangely enough (erm…pun intended lol). Doesn’t matter though….today I’m going to be bingewatching the hell out of this one 😂😂 It’s amazing the amount of money that sometimes gets spent on advertising though. It’s crazy when you stop to think about it. Well, one thing is for sure: you wrote another great post because of this 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, plus in the last decade it became crucial to do the overseas promotion as US box office is becoming smaller and smaller…
      I don’t remember which city you’re from 😐 …but when I visited Amsterdam, I noticed that it is well-managed in terms of avoiding annoying publicity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I live in a very small town about an hour’s drive away from Amsterdam. But true, add campaigns we don’t really have here, except for the occasional posters or so ething like that 😀
        But yeah, it is unfortunately something that is a part of movies/tv shows these days. As long as it isn’t shoved completely into your face (lol) I guess I don’t mind the occasional advertisement 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Those posters are… cool! I think. I’d rather see posters around my town than television commercials. But we don’t have any posters here in my town of Cincinnati, USA.

    Too much marketing usually annoys me. However, for this great show I’ll make an exception. And besides, I actually have not seen that many ads for it, the ones Ive seen were mostly on Facebook. I also don’t watch too much tv.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. Raistlin0903 said he also hasn’t seen any in Netherlands, so I guess it means Netflixis investing heavily in Italy. Putting a destroyed telephone booth right in the heart of the city is not something easy.

      I also hate marketing, but this one is done well and it is a great show.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Was the show popular over there last season? Maybe they are trying to appeal to a new market, whereas here in the US it is already popular so they don’t need to advertise. Maybe.

        Do they translate the show in Italian?

        Liked by 1 person

      • All movies are dubbed here in Italian 😊 There are only some special rare screening in the original language. I guess you’re right… Netflix was launched in 2015 here. The show was popular, although it’s hard for me to get you any numbers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Argh, it’s pretty harsh. There are some nice areas, the city center is lovely but overcrowded with both locals and tourists. It’s not as beautiful as Rome, Berlin or Florence. 20% of population are foreigners (it’s much higher than in other parts of Italy), and many of them are not ‘good’ foreigners and may create a lot of problems. The city center is safe and there are many things to do. Gigs, various exhibitions, restaurants of any kind… shopping heaven, of course (a thing I can’t stand)!

        But some areas (even barely 5-10 km outside the city center) are absolutely full of Arab-looking (or South American) people and do not feel safe (not because I have something against them, but it’s their behaviour that makes me feel so, they just gather in groups and do not behave politely…). Using the subway is a new thing to me too. It’s really ugly 🤣 During the day it’s fine and everybody uses it to go to work, but using it after 9 pm it doesn’t feel… good. It’s a small part of immigrants that create this problem, but with a huge population like that it is still a big amount.

        Things like that are quiet disappointing. I love that Italy is a multi-cultural country and always enjoy to meet people from all countries, but in other cities (except for the South and some parts in Rome) I didn’t experience these feeling of not being safe.


      • I did not know there were so many immigrants there. 20% Wow. I suspect some of these immigrants are fleeing the wars in the Middle East? Which my country is much to blame for 😑.

        I’ll have to ask my Dad if he has ever been to Milan. He has visited Italy many times.

        I love subways. Or at least the idea of them and other forms of trains and public transportation. I want to eventually live in a city with a public rail system. But if it is at all crowded, or unsafe it ruins the experience. That’s too bad they don’t feel safe after 9pm.

        Why did you move?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The country average is 8% (about 6 millions), but here 20%, yes. Yes, some of them for sure, but not all. I guess just people are in search of a better life and it is always a good thing 😉 But not absorbing new culture and sticking only to your community is not (finally, I am a foreigner here too). It depends. For example, there many Chinese and they are lovely people, open a lot of shops and sell stuff, even though many of them barely speak Italian well 😃

        I moved mostly for the same reason as most people move here – work. Me and my gf found a better job here and in general there are a lots of career possibilities here 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Strangely enough I haven’t seen anything here. It’s all digital campaign stuff I’ve seen and it’s genuinely impressive…

    … and the show is pretty special, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so cool!! I am marketing major here in the US looking to go into television and am fascinated by Stranger Thing’s innovative campaigns. I am going to be doing a blog post next week on their marketing, do you mind if I link them to this blog to talk about the téléphone booths? Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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