Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Cathay Gallery: Box Office Hits – The Magic of Movie Marketing

Before product placements in films, movie ring-tone downloads and spin-off
merchandise, there were lobby cards, walking bill-boards, publicity floats, moving mascots and even costumed box office cashiers. New technologies and evolving sensibilities have dramatically transformed not just how movies are made but how they are marketed and consumed. How film releases were promoted was not just about increasing box-office takings but also about attracting sponsors and advertisers. Movie audiences today, accustomed to promotional strategies that involve twitter, blogosphere coverage and toy merchandising know little about the ways movies were promoted in the past and how these paved the way for contemporary marketing methods.

Box Office Hits – The Magic of Movie Marketing offers a glimpse of the creative and unique ways of movie promotion from the 1930s until the present - excavating rarely seen images and vintage pieces from the Cathay collection and archives. Promotional strategies ranged from the dynamic and creative, to the unsophisticated and gimmicky, to the cheeky and somewhat risqué, to the quirky and disarming.

Presented at The Cathay Gallery on the occasion of Cathay’s 75th anniversary from 16 July 2010 - 16 Dec 2010, the exhibition reveals an extraordinary breadth of images and artefacts that are testament to the times from which they emerge and to the pivotal role that Cathay held over seven decades.

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