It’s not pretty, but it’s informative – Jon Favreau posts to Reddit discussing the best viewing options for his box office hit The Jungle Book.
The post, in typical Reddit fashion, is text-heavy, characterized by the spartan page outline that tens of millions of readers have come to embrace. Slotted under the r/movies subreddit, and for a time in the upper reaches of front page territory, is Jon Favreau’s master class in film and screening formats.
Whether or not the acclaimed director of Iron Man and Elf took the time to create a Reddit account and type out a thousand words of text is certainly in question. It’s easy to see a PR intern for The Jungle Book slaving away at a work station, or at the very least Favreau dictating to an assistant.
But regardless of ghostwriting status, the post is a fascinating study in content marketing. It aims to educate readers on the cinematic formats available. It gives the pros of each of the new technologies and viewing experiences. It tells people where they can see each version. And most importantly, it comes from an expert in the field.
Reddit is at times beaten over the head with music and film stars running AMAs (“Ask Me Anything”) as they ramp up promotional campaigns for their latest projects. While usually interesting, most of these wild-west-of-interviews are characterized by carefully curated, measured responses from the celebrity. The unsolicited information Favreau posts, while still obviously a promotional tool, is a refreshing new tactic. Also evident, however, is Favreau’s lack of response to any of the questions in the Reddit comments. He’s not truly engaging with an audience, yet his point is still made.
In all, this has all the trimmings of an outstanding piece of content marketing. A master (Favreau) speaks about his craft to a specified audience (the subreddit). The content itself can’t be found elsewhere, at least easily, and exists on a platform meant for sharing content. The readers contribute their own thoughts and interests. A new feature film (The Jungle Book) gets coverage. Heavy handed-ness aside, this is a brilliant study in marketing.