DARKEST HOUR CASE STUDY

#1 in the UK box office on opening weekend

Damaris Media undertook UK community promotion for Darkest Hour, a thrilling account inspired by the true story of Winston Churchill's first weeks in office during the early days of the Second World War.

 

We were engaged by Universal to promote the film to two target markets:

  • Older people, particularly veterans

  • Church community

Lead Partnerships

We began by using our existing relationships to secure lead partnerships with two key community groups with high reach into these demographics: SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity and Baptists Together.

 

We worked with these partners to:

  • create a tie-in Companion Booklet featuring their branding, and distribute it digitally and in printed form among their membership, providing valuable publicity for the film. Each glossy booklet featured background and production information, questions for a group discussion, and film stills.

  • issue a series of press releases to sector press: military press and mainstream press targeting older people with SSAFA; faith press with Baptists Together. Several of these achieved widespread republication.

  • run social media campaigns providing visibility to the film - both through their channels and those of their members

  • provide representatives for interviews on community radio - such as SSAFA’s Director of Communications on BFBS Forces Radio.

Red Carpet Opportunities

We used 12 seats at the UK premiere to achieve significant promotion with the help of our partner SSAFA, plus Help For Heroes and Premier Christian Radio.

 

We were able to secure the attendance of two World War Two veterans (via SSAFA) and a Royal Marines veteran (via Help For Heroes). The veterans provided endorsements and their attendance resulted in substantial coverage for the film both from local press (such as the Basildon Canvey Southend Echo, and the Essex County Standard) as well as via Help For Heroes.

 

Since the retired Royal Marines veteran who attended the premiere is now training as a church minister we were able to place interviews with him on Premier Christian Radio and BBC Local Radio’s Sunday programme.

 

We also ran our own preview screening for key influencers, enabling us to gain valuable support more widely among the target markets. We secured attendance from representatives of organisations such as Age UK, Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Forces Children’s Trust, Kingsway Trust and the Methodist Church of Great Britain - and we followed up to ensure they covered the film positively on social media and via other channels to their members.

Resulting Coverage

Our team engaged extensively with community press in order to secure reviews. This resulted in positive coverage in 26 mainstream and community outlets including BBC Local Radio, Express Online, Forces Radio, Mature Times, National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, Fighting Fifty, Premier Christian Radio, United Christian Broadcasters, Revelation TV and War Cry.

 

As well as the substantial coverage via our lead partners, we also gathered promotion and endorsements for the film through a variety of community organisations such as Help For Heroes, Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Forces Children’s Trust, Methodist Church of Great Britain and Christian Vision for Men.

 

Resulting reach was 18.7 million people within the target demographics, of which 94% was high impact reach (via booklets, print or online reviews and radio coverage), with the remaining 6% being social media.

Commendations

Wright’s great talent for framing shots puts us at Churchill’s side throughout [the] process - Mature Times.

 

It’s a must see film, best film I have seen this year - Invicta Foundation.

 

Darkest Hour is a superb film, challenging throughout and exhausting at times, yet is very well worth a watch - Methodist Church of Great Britain.

 

Critically acclaimed Darkest Hour is a film not to be missed! - Fighting Fifty.

 

Stellar performances from Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas help make Darkest Hour a powerful watch - Inspire Magazine.

 

If you are making weekend plans, #DarkestHour is available to watch in cinemas from today. The powerful film sees Gary Oldman in a fantastic portrayal of Winston Churchill. We highly recommend it! Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.