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Jun 25, 2024
(Updated on
Jun 25, 2024

Exploring Arrakis: The Epic Marketing Saga of Dune: Part Two‍

The journey of "Dune: Part Two" from its inception to its impending release has been nothing short of spectacular, marked by strategic marketing phases that have captivated audiences worldwide. From exclusive previews at CinemaCon to a vibrant global publicity tour, every step has been meticulously crafted to amplify anticipation for this cinematic epic. Coupled with innovative digital campaigns and collectible releases, "Dune: Part Two" stands at the forefront of modern movie marketing, setting new benchmarks for engagement and excitement.

Photo from Warner Bros

Phase 1: Building Buzz and Revealing Trailers

In the first phase of marketing, "Dune: Part Two" began with a bang at CinemaCon in April 2023, where a select audience got the first glimpse of the film's debut trailer. Stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and director Denis Villeneuve were present, discussing the evolving storyline and generating buzz among exhibitors. Shortly after, the trailer went public, followed by a second trailer in late June. Early May saw the release of the striking first one-sheet featuring Paul and Chani against a backdrop of the planet's sun, adorned with the star-studded cast names.

Phase 2: Delays, Trailers, and Public Engagements

Moving into Phase 2, the film faced shifting release dates due to external factors like an actors' strike, pushing it initially to April 2024 and then to March 2024. December brought excitement at Brazil’s CCXP, where Villeneuve and key cast members engaged with fans and delved into the film’s narrative. A third trailer dropped in mid-December, coinciding with the inclusion of Paul and Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen in Call of Duty III to engage with gaming audiences.

Global Publicity and Premiere

In January, the original "Dune" returned to IMAX screens for a special showing, building anticipation for the sequel's release. Short featurettes and TV spots emerged as ticket sales commenced, setting the stage for a global publicity tour. The tour spanned Mexico City, Paris, and London, culminating in a vibrant U.S. premiere in New York City. Here, the cast shared insights into filming and praised their co-stars, while also confirming surprise casting news. Concurrently, cast members made appearances on local talk shows in New York, further amplifying the film's reach and excitement.

Snapchat Campaign: Augmented Reality and Beyond

Warner Bros. has launched a dynamic marketing campaign on Snapchat to build excitement for the upcoming release of “Dune: Part Two.” Central to this strategy is an augmented reality (AR) lens and custom Cameo stickers, complemented by video ads promoting the film. Snapchat users can interact with these ads to access a microsite where they can purchase tickets. This initiative targets a younger demographic known for their enthusiasm in attending movie premieres, leveraging Snapchat's influence among users who are 1.7 times more likely to see films on opening weekend, according to the NRG.

Photo from Snapchat 

The AR Lens, now available in the U.S. and Canada with a global rollout following closely behind, marks Warner Bros. and Snapchat's latest collaboration following their successful partnership on “Barbie.” This move underscores the growing importance of social media in movie promotions.

Post-release, the campaign has expanded to offer an immersive AR experience within Snapchat. These filters transport users into Arrakis, the desert planet central to the “Dune” universe:

Embrace the Spice: This filter envelops users in a shimmering sandstorm, evoking the film’s iconic spice melange and immersing fans in Arrakis’ rugged landscape.

Don a Fremen Stillsuit: Step into the shoes of Arrakis’ fierce Fremen warriors by virtually wearing their essential still suits, offering insights into their culture and survival techniques.

Command Sandworms: Users can control virtual sandworms, the colossal creatures that dominate Arrakis’ deserts, experiencing the epic scale of “Dune” firsthand.

Explore the Spice Harvester: Get close to the massive machines crucial to extracting Arrakis’ valuable spice melange, revealing the industrial marvels shaping the planet's economy.

This innovative use of AR on Snapchat not only enhances fan engagement but also sets a new standard for immersive movie marketing, bringing the world of “Dune” closer to audiences worldwide.

LEGO and Funko: Capturing the Dune Universe

LEGO has unveiled its inaugural Dune-themed set, coinciding with the anticipation surrounding the sequel to the 2021 sci-fi epic. As part of their esteemed Icons series, LEGO introduces the Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter, a meticulously crafted model consisting of 1,369 pieces. Designed with adult enthusiasts in mind, this premium-quality replica boasts impressive features such as fold-out wings, deployable landing gear, and a detailed cockpit capable of housing any of the eight included mini figurines from the film franchise.

Drawing inspiration from Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of Frank Herbert's seminal novel, the set includes iconic characters like Paul Atreides, Lady Jessica, Gurney Halleck, Chani, Leto Atreides, Liet Kynes, Duncan Idaho, and even Baron Harkonnen in his distinctive attire. The ornithopter itself is equipped with functional elements, including foldable landing gear and rotatable blades, allowing fans to recreate pivotal scenes from the arid landscapes of Arrakis within their own homes.

Funko released a new collection of pop figures inspired by Dune: Part Two, joining LEGO in capturing the global excitement surrounding the highly-awaited sequel. These collectible figurines, a must-have for fans and collectors alike, expand upon their predecessors from the first film. Each figure intricately captures iconic details like the distinctive blue eyes of Ibad, adding to the anticipation ahead of the movie's release.

As "Dune: Part Two" prepares to grace screens worldwide, its marketing journey serves as a testament to the power of strategic planning and audience engagement. From the immersive Snapchat AR experience to intricately designed LEGO sets and collectible Funko figures, every aspect of the marketing campaign has resonated deeply with fans. Beyond just promoting a film, it has created a global cultural phenomenon, uniting enthusiasts in their shared excitement for the next chapter of Arrakis' saga. With each innovative strategy and heartfelt fan interaction, "Dune: Part Two" continues to redefine what it means to build anticipation and engage audiences in the digital age of cinema.

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