The latest promotional tool for the George Clooney film is a World War II newsreel-style trailer that serves as an actual campaign to help find missing art. Sony is partnering with writer Robert Edsel — author of “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” the book that inspired the film — to seek the public’s help in locating cultural artifacts that went missing during the war. In the film, Clooney, who also co-wrote, directed and produced the movie, assembles a team of misfits played by Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman, among others, “to save Europe’s great cultural achievements from certain destruction in the last days of the war.”
Viewers can visit SupportTheMonumentsMen.com to sign a petition encouraging Congress to award the real Monuments Men the Congressional Gold Medal. The trailer includes a real phone number (1-866-WWII-ART) that people can use to support the Monuments Men Foundation by reporting found art.
Meanwhile, the studio launched MonumentsMenEducation.com as an educational site for high school and college students.
Since its Dec. 18 release was pushed to Feb. 7, the film has gotten lost in the awards season shuffle. It won’t be eligible to receive an Oscar nom this year, but the movie stands to deliver at the box office thanks to the star-studded cast that also includes Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin and Bob Balaban. Plus, the savvy marketing could revive the buzz that surrounded the film earlier this year.
The studio has been stepping up its marking strategy in recent months. Sony hit viral gold in October with its Web promo for Kimberly Peirce’s “Carrie.” The online ad was a prank on the customers of a New York City coffee shop who witnessed a teenage girl’s “telekinetic powers.” The campaign received a holiday makeover last week. Chloe Grace Moretz wears a Santa hat in the new “Carrie” posters that include a number to “call Carrie” that directs to recorded messages from Moretz and co-star Julianne Moore.