Big City Blues (Warner Bros.) (1932)

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LIVE EXPLOITATION AND PU UCC CCC ad Here’s McCarthy’s “‘Motion Picture Herald’? Review! Read It And Reap! Bane “Big City Blues” (Warner Brothers ) Comedy Drama Ad-Writing Contest The idea is to offer prizes for the best advertising copy written to fit the ad layout and art, chosen from those in this merchandising plan. Have the blank ad run in the news sections of the paper, calling readers’ attention to the complete “‘Big City Blues’’ ad in the movie section. Suggest that they use the regular ad as a pattern in writing new ad vertising copy for the blank one. Remind them that east, direction and other similar credits must be ineluded in their ads. In more detail, here is the plan: Picking your best selling angles on “Big City Blues”? depends a great deal on what part of the country your theatre is located in and the class of people that make up your audiences. In the larger cities, where people are more or less familiar with the hectic life that is New York’s, you’ve got the color and glamour of New York in all its maddening fury to sell. Away from the larger cities, where New York and its gay, gaudy life is a matter of fascinating interest, intrigue your patrons with that angle, a tearing aside of the curtains, a showing up of the things that sometimes happen to just such a headstrong boy from the sticks who meets up with the gay boys and girls of the Great White Way. In all its pretended dramatic seriousness, there’s a riot of sparkling comedy. Walter Catlett as the four-flushing cousin gets over enough mirth-provoking dialogue to keep the house in an uproar. Linden in all his cocksure smartness is always almost tragic. 1. Promote the necessary space in the newspaper. Run the Blank ad and the contest details. Show the advertising department that the contest will stimulate ad-reading and boost circulation. ~) 2. Break the contest announcement three days in advance of the picture opening, giving all the details of the contest, including the announcement that the winning ad will appear in the paper the last day of the run. es Ce . Choose judges from the newspaper office, advertising agency, chamber of commerce. Theatre manager also to to act as judge. Entries to be judged from angles of selling value, cleverness, attention-getting, professional appearance, good writing, etc. Announce, however, that professional advertising people are not eligible. Capitalize on names and _ personalities for all they’re worth. You’ve got a pair of real names to draw to in Eric Linden and Joan Blondell. And if you can arrange a real build-up for Walter Catlett, the flashy fourflusher, who bluffs his way through everything with a sweet comedy line, you should lure in many an extra dollar. Sell glamour, spectacle, human interest, the kind that offers an occasional tug at the heartstrings. Don’t try to point it out as a moral of the perils of the Big City. Get over the idea that it’s a story of the sensational New York—the New York that everyone outside of the Big City likes to sneer at— but wants to see.—McCARTHY, HOLLYWOOD. 4. Tell readers to study the ads and enter the fascinating game of playing with words. : 5. Keep up a steady flow of newspaper publicity and sereen publicity on the contest, keying copy in such a way that readers will realize that seeing the picture will help them write their copy. 6. Contact local schools and colleges to stimulate interest in the ad-writing contest among students. Get this contest series off to a grand start so its momentum will earry it right along. There’s intriguing novelty and box-office value in this stunt. SE COULTER Ce WOO va Chorine Margres . Radio Teaser “Big City” Tie-Uns _ Street ™~ a Blow up chorus girl figures to bigger-than-life size and mount them on compo board. Build a big city skyline of compo board. Set the city on the marquee behind the chorine line-up. Use a motor to make the chorus girls move from left to right, with the buildings moving from right to left. Paint ‘‘BIG CITY BLUES’’ across the buildings and have the lettering as large as possible. Connect your phonograph and public address system on the marquee top and play hot blues tunes, keeping the chorus girls moving in time with the records, if possible. Use all shades of blue in painting the city buildings and the title. For night time, cut windows in the buildings and put lights behind them, throwing a spot on the chorines. Tf this is more elaborate a front than usual for you, remember that it’s a part of present-day picture ballyhoo, made necessary by the abnormal business conditions, Big City Successes Run biographical stories of natives who have made good in the big cities. Tie it in with the story of ‘‘Big City Blues,’’ in which the young man leaves his home town to achieve suecess in the metropolis. If possible, have any home town boys who have come back to the old burg for a vacation make personal appearances and tell their experiences and how they made good in the big city. a Reporter Gag Use the useful ‘‘ Inquiring Reporter’’ stunt in the newspapers, asking the question ‘‘Would You Like To Go To New York? Why?’’ Secure photos of the people giving the answers and get as much variety as possible: people of all ages and answers of different kinds. Announce that the inquiring reporter-photographer will be on the streets at a certain time, with passes for the people to whom he addresses the question. Page Ten Have the favorite orchestra on the local radio station play the song hit of three years’ ago—‘‘Big City Blues’’—over the station each day at a specified time. Announce the event in your newspapers and have the radio station make announcements to the effect that listeners should listen-in again at the time set. Before the song is played, have the announcer tell listeners that it was a big hit and that its title has been chosen as the title of a.picture coming to your theatre. Let him announce further that after the number has been played further details will be given which will be of personal interest to listeners. After the number has been played, the announcer tells them that the Strand Theatre will give a pair of tickets to the first 25 people sending in the correct title of the song, now the title of the picture which will play at the Strand the following week, Country Boy Who Made Good 1. Get a volume of ‘‘Who’s Who’’ and pick. out the names of the most famous men in the country who were born in small towns. Make the names and brief biographies the basis of a daily newspaper campaign, the copy to be keyed to bring in the angle of the young boy who goes to the big city to make his mark in the world, as. in ‘* Big City Blues.’’ 2. If there are any home tome show girls in your city who have appeared on the stage in big cities, have them make personal appearances at your theatre and tell their stories. Also, run their photos in the newspaper, making a direct tie-up between them and Joan Blondell. Make the copy somewhat inspirational to show that the big city gives every ambitious person his or her chance. Tie-up with local merchants vn u‘*Big City’’ and ‘‘blue’’ angles, having them go in for a cooperative ad during the run of the picture and devoting their window displays to ‘‘ Big City Blues,’’ using all shades of blue exclusively for all merchandise displayed. Have them use the line ‘‘See our Big City Blues if You Want The Height Of Fashion—See ‘Big City Blues’ with Joan Blondell and Eric Linden At The Strand Theatre If You Want The Season’s Best Entertainment.’? Have the stores mention the faet that they’re right up to date with the big city. Spot plenty of stills in the windows, stressing ‘‘ The Young Lovers Of ‘The Crowd Roars’ ’’ team of Blondell and Linden. For night display, have the windows lighted with blue baby spots and indirect lighting. of blue cloth procurable. senda 11414. through the streets wearing a banner carrying playdate and picture copy. Have him carry a suitcase on which you’ve painted ‘‘I’ve Got the ‘Big City Blues’.’’ Put heralds in the suitease for distribution to pedestrians and automobilists. Band in Lobby To get the attention of passersby on opening night, have a band in the lobby of your theatre. Have it play the best of the blues numbers, including ‘‘ Big City Blues,’’ which was published three years ago. Be sure to have a vocalist with the band to sing choruses of the number, which was a big hit at the time of its publication. SNAPPY LOBBY SUGGESTIONS