Chris Reed
Jan 8, 2015

LinkedIn and Taken 3 connect to market new film

20th Century Fox have created a very innovative Linkedin based promotion for the new Liam Neeson film Taken 3. In what I think is a first they have created a profile for the character Bryan Mills and a showcase page for the film itself and asked you to connect with Mills to enter a competition.

LinkedIn and Taken 3 connect to market new film

The whole premise of the campaign is around skills that you would have on your Linkedin profile and in this case those of the character Mills. These include contract negotiation, international relations, transportation logistics, multi-party conflict resolution and the recovery of valuable assets. Very amusing given his character.

To win the competition, Mills asks the would-be contestants through his summary section on his Linkedin profile to enter the competition in a way fitting of the Taken 3 character:

There are some situations which I cannot foresee. Situations that will require a particular set of skills that I don't possess. Skills that would make you very useful to a man like me.  Be very specific. Tell me everything you believe might be of assistance in evaluating your effectiveness. You will only have one opportunity to reach me and connect with my network.

For the contest winner, Neeson promises to “find your LinkedIn profile, review it and record a video of myself endorsing your particular set of skills.” That would be very cool of course for anyone to add more flavor to their personal brand on Linkedin with a video recommendation from Mills/Neeson.

What I love about the promotion is the creative way that they have used a non-traditional platform, Linkedin, when it would have been so much easier just be like everyone else and use Facebook, Twitter etc. Fox have obviously identified the fact that Neeson and the Taken film franchise have a target audience of male professionals in their 30s and 40s, matching that of Linkedin.

They have even gone to the trouble of filling in all of Bryan Mills experience including as a “Security Consultant”. The profile claims that some of his most useful skills and marketable qualities include:

  • Thoroughly followed every lead and opportunity through project completion
  • Acted calmly and decisively in aggressively hostile conditions
  • Changed operational tactics forcefully amidst incomplete and often contradictory information
  • Communicated with government and non-governmental organizations in multiple languages”

Under “Threat Assessment & Resolution” the character's profile says he is not “at liberty to discuss the exact dates and locations of my previous employers. But if you have found me, you already know my reputation. A reputation earned by going wherever my services are needed and doing whatever is necessary to finish the job. My employers have included extra-governmental organizations, the military community, the intelligence agencies of various nationalities, law enforcement and private security firms”.

It’s all fantastic stuff, very tongue in cheek. But also communciates perfectly the skills and experience needed to do a job perfectly (while killing lots of people on the way of course). It also cleverly matches LinkedIn’s use of profiles and employers/employees to communciate his career to go deeper into his character and remind those who have seen the first two films all about the new one.

Bryan’s top to skills list on Linkedin are “Security, Firearms, Physical Security, International Relations, Conflict Resolution, Security Management, Negotiation” and my favouritres, “Phone Etiquette” and “Information Extraction”.

It is a simple marketing execution that is both original and perfectly targeted to generate positive word of mouth for the new film amongst opinion leaders and early adopters. I have been raving about it since I heard about it and am doing Fox’s job for them by writing this blog.

Great credit where great credit is deserved. I am sure that we will see many more companies realising the power of using Linkedin as a platform to market films, games and books. But Fox have set the bar pretty high.

Bryan Mills is only just behind James Caan (with his 2 million followers) in my list of who is viewed most amongst my connections! Therefore the promotion has worked. And what’s the cost? Nothing. We’re all doing their work for them by connecting. Very clever.


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