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The Gray Man: Netflix's multi-million dollar marketing plan for movie

Netflix has lost more than 1 million subscribers this year

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The Gray Man: Netflix's multi-million dollar marketing plan for movie
GNN Media: Representational Photo

California: ‘The Gray Man’ has his own emoji, he has sprinted across 3D billboards from Krakow to Seoul, and he has battled bad guys in more than 100 TV ads.

Netflix Inc launched one of its largest marketing campaigns ever to make sure audiences around the world knew that Ryan Gosling was starring in ‘The Gray Man’, the company’s big-budget summer action movie.

The streaming service has begun mounting larger awareness campaigns for its biggest titles as part of the roughly $2.5 billion it spends annually on marketing, Marian Lee, Netflix’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview.

“We want the conversation out there to be about Netflix shows and movies,” Lee said.

Netflix has lost more than 1 million subscribers this year and its shares have fallen 62%. Co-Chief Executive Reed Hastings said the company is working to improve on all fronts, including marketing. Netflix remains the world’s largest streaming service with nearly 221 million subscribers.

‘The Gray Man’ was directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the brothers behind ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and other blockbusters from Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios, which typically spends $150 million or more to market action movies. The Russos told Netflix they wanted the company to make a big splash with ‘The Gray Man’.

“We tend to make movies of a certain scale that require a larger platform for release, a larger media push. And they were game for it,” Joe Russo said.

More than 100 ‘Gray Man’ TV ads ran globally during live sporting events from the Monaco Grand Prix to the NBA Finals and shows such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘The Bachelorette’.

Three-dimensional billboards, which made explosions seemingly blast off the screen, lit up New York’s Time Square and cities around the world including Seoul, Krakow, Tokyo and Las Vegas.

“We are trying to ensure that we’re creating bespoke campaigns that connect with the audiences for that particular movie or show,” Lee said.

On social media, custom emojis of Sierra Six (Gosling) and nemesis Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) were created for Twitter. The Russos chatted with influencers on TikTok, attracting more than 1.1 million views.

At San Diego Comic-Con, the annual celebration of pop culture, Netflix set up a crashed tram car for an interactive ‘Gray Man’ experience. Visitors worked to escape the car and sprint across the tram’s roof. They left with a video of their heroics for easy sharing on social media.

‘The Gray Man’ logged 88.6 million viewing hours over the past weekend, ranking as the fifth-highest film debut ever on the streaming service. It was the weekend’s most-watched Netflix movie in 84 countries. The company ordered a sequel and a spinoff.

Before it hit Netflix, ‘The Gray Man’ played exclusively for one week in 1,500 theatres worldwide. While promotions mentioned the theatrical run, “we were not trying to drive people to theatres,” Lee said. “We were definitely trying to focus on the Netflix premiere.”

The scale of future Netflix campaigns will be relative to the size of the movie or series, Lee said. Other Netflix films that will see a big push include a ‘Knives Out’ sequel, young adult title ‘The School for Good and Evil’ and ‘Slumberland’ starring Jason Momoa. Lee did not disclose how much Netflix spent to promote ‘The Gray Man’, but said it was less than what traditional studios spend to tout a blockbuster film.

Netflix has many more titles to promote than other studios, Lee noted, and she said its awareness efforts are boosted by the company’s algorithm that makes tailored suggestions to viewers.

“Those two things really work hand in hand,” Lee said.

SOURCE: Reuters

World

Nine Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts: Ukraine

Russia however denies any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts or that any attack took place

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Nine Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts: Ukraine

Ukraine’s air force said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a deadly string of explosions at an air base in Crimea, amid speculation the blasts were the result of a Ukrainian attack that would represent a significant escalation in the war.

Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts — or that any attack took place.

Ukrainian officials stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while mocking Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker might have caused ammunition at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up. Analysts also said that explanation doesn’t make sense and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to strike the base.

If Ukrainian forces were, in fact, responsible for the blasts, it would be the first known major attack on a Russian military site on the Crimean Peninsula, which was seized from Ukraine by the Kremlin in 2014. Russian warplanes have used Saki to strike areas in Ukraine’s south.

Crimea holds huge strategic and symbolic significance for both sides. The Kremlin’s demand that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia has been one of its key conditions for ending the fighting, while Ukraine has vowed to drive the Russians from the peninsula and all other occupied territories.

Hours after the blasts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised again to do just that.

“This Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea — its liberation,” he said in his nightly address.

The explosions, which killed one person and wounded 14, sent tourists fleeing in panic as plumes of smoke rose over the coastline nearby. Video showed shattered windows and holes in the brickwork of some buildings.

One tourist, Natalia Lipovaya, said that “the earth was gone from under my feet” after the powerful blasts. “I was so scared,” she said.

Sergey Milochinsky, a local resident, recalled hearing a roar and seeing a mushroom cloud from his window. “Everything began to fall around, collapse,” he said.

Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said some 250 residents were moved to temporary housing after dozens of apartment buildings were damaged.

But Russian authorities sought to downplay the explosions on Wednesday, saying all hotels and beaches were unaffected on the peninsula, which is a popular tourist destination for many Russians.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, cryptically said that the blasts were either caused by Ukrainian-made long-range weapons or the work of Ukrainian guerrillas operating in Crimea. 
 
A Ukrainian parliament member, Oleksandr Zavitnevich, said the airfield was rendered unusable. He reported on Facebook that it housed fighter jets, tactical reconnaissance aircraft and military transport planes.

“Official Kyiv has kept mum about it, but unofficially the military acknowledges that it was a Ukrainian strike,” Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said.

The base is at least 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) from the closest Ukrainian position. Zhdanov suggested that Ukrainian forces could have struck it with Ukrainian or Western-supplied anti-ship missiles that have the necessary range.

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said it couldn’t independently determine what caused the explosions but noted that simultaneous blasts in two places at the base probably rule out an accidental fire but not sabotage or a missile attack.

But it added: “The Kremlin has little incentive to accuse Ukraine of conducting strikes that caused the damage since such strikes would demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Russian air defense systems.”

During the war, the Kremlin has reported numerous fires and explosions on Russian territory near the Ukrainian border, blaming some of them on Ukrainian strikes. Ukrainian authorities have mostly kept silent about the incidents, preferring to keep the world guessing. 
 
In other developments, Russian forces shelled areas across Ukraine on Tuesday night into Wednesday, including the central region of Dnipropetrovsk, where 13 people were killed, according to the region’s governor, Valentyn Reznichenko.

Reznichenko said the Russians fired at the city of Marganets and a nearby village. Dozens of residential buildings, two schools and several administrative buildings were damaged.

“It was a terrible night,” Reznichenko said. “It’s very hard to take bodies from under debris. We are facing a cruel enemy who engages in daily terror against our cities and villages.”

Two residents of the village of Staryi Saltiv in the Kharkiv region in the northeast were killed Wednesday in Russian shelling, police reported.

In the country’s southeast, Moscow’s forces continued shelling the city of Nikopol across the Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power station, the biggest nuclear plant in Europe. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling it, stoking international fears of a catastrophe.

On Wednesday, foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies demanded that Russia immediately hand back full control of the plant to Ukraine. They said they are “profoundly concerned” about the risk of a nuclear accident with far-reaching consequences.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

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Regional

NDMA provides relief items to flood-hit areas of Balochistan

The NDMA also provided 117 dewatering pumps for drainage of accumulated rain and floodwater from the localities.

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NDMA provides relief items to flood-hit areas of Balochistan

Islamabad: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday continued to provide relief items to flood affected areas of the country especially Balochistan.

The NDMA ensured emergency assistance to the flood victims including ration and other necessary equipment, a news release said.

The relief equipment provided by the Authority included provision of ration packs for over 40,000 people, tents, mosquito nets, and blankets for the accommodation of 60,000 victims, it said.

The NDMA also provided 117 dewatering pumps for drainage of accumulated rain and floodwater from the localities.

However, during the emergency aid dispatch most of the aid was given to the affected areas of Balochistan.

Moreover, 60,000 liters of drinking water was also provided to flood victims in Balochistan alongwith other aid items including kitchen sets, hygiene kits and chemical spray machines.

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Pakistan

President, PM express resolve to build an inclusive society in line with vision of Quaid-i-Azam

The Government of Pakistan had declared 11 August as National Minority Day in 2009.

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President, PM express resolve to build an inclusive society in line with vision of Quaid-i-Azam

Islamabad: President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif have expressed the government's resolve to achieve the noble objective of building an inclusive society in line with the vision of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

In their separate messages on the occasion of National Day of Minorities, they resolved to make all efforts to safeguard minorities' rights and work for their well-being as their rights have been enshrined in the Constitution.

The President lauded the role being played by minorities, especially in the fields of education, health, and social welfare.

He said 11th August is celebrated as Minorities' Day in Pakistan to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by our minorities to the development of Pakistan and to reaffirm our commitment as a nation to safeguard their rights.

In his message, Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said freedom of religion and sanctity of the person and properties of minorities have been statutorily formalized in our constitution.

He said National Day of Minorities serves to highlight the contributions that our non-Muslim Pakistani citizens are making to national development.  

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Mufti Abdul Shakoor has said that Islam is a religion that respects humanity.

In his message on the occasion of National Minorities Day, he said according to the eternal teachings of Islam, there is no rule against the basic principles of humanity.

The Minister said that Islam never encourages forced conversion of followers of other religions.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the coalition government's resolve for the betterment and welfare of our minorities and their fullest inclusion in the national life and development.

National Minority Day is observed today to commemorate the contribution of minorities in the progress of Pakistan. 

On August 11, the day is observed every year to recall the vision of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and to reaffirm the commitment that despite belonging to different faiths we are one nation.

The Government of Pakistan had declared 11 August as National Minority Day in 2009.

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