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5 Minute Read

Illuminating the Big Screen

How Hollywood Studios Can Use Drone Light Shows to Create Buzz Around Film Releases

In an age where digital innovation drives audience engagement, Hollywood studios constantly seek new and exciting ways to promote their latest films. Technologically advanced and a visual feast for the eyes, drone light shows are just starting to take off as the entertainment industry sees how these dazzling displays offer a uniquely versatile and powerful way to captivate audiences and generate buzz around new film releases.

Drones Up, Lights On, Action!

Drone light shows are a technological marvel and a new canvas for powerful storytelling. By creating animated, vivid visuals in the sky, drone shows can accurately depict iconic movie symbols, characters, or scenes, bringing them to life on a grand scale and in an unprecedented way that leaves audiences breathless. 

Imagine drones creating a 3D image of a superhero or recreating an epic battle scene in the night sky. This grabs attention and immerses the audience in the cinematic world, even before they enter the theater.

Before the Show and Beyond the Screen

One of the significant advantages of drone light shows is their ability to create a shared, live experience. Unlike traditional advertisements, which are often a solitary, even passive, experience, drone shows bring fans together, fostering community and excitement. This communal aspect can be particularly powerful for blockbuster franchises with large fan bases, turning movie promotion into an event.

The Most Shareable Social Content in the Business 

After the end credits roll on a drone light show, the engagement is just beginning as the content from the event is shared across studio, fan, and news outlet social channels. Drone light shows are inherently shareable and visually striking, perfect for generating buzz on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Audiences sharing images and videos of these stunning displays amplifies the film’s reach and creates organic, viral marketing.

Unlimited Storytelling Potential and a New Revenue Stream 

Endlessly customizable, each drone light show can be created to fit the theme and branding of a film. Whether it’s the mystical colors of a fantasy movie or the sleek designs of a sci-fi thriller, the flexibility of drone technology allows studios to tailor their promotional events to align perfectly with the film's aesthetic. 

Sponsors, especially those already involved with the film via product placement or other efforts, can also be a big part of the drone show event. Incorporating their logos, products, and messaging into the light show effectively creates additional marketing synergies and helps offset promotional costs. 

An Environmental and Social Statement 

In an era of environmental consciousness, drone light shows present an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fireworks. They produce no smoke or debris, making them a sustainable option for studios looking to minimize their ecological footprint while making a big impact.

Case Studies

Major motion picture studios - including Warner Bros and Netflix - are already enjoying success when incorporating drone light shows into their marketing and promotion plans. 

CASE STUDY | Blue Beetle Event
CLIENT: Capitol Outdoor / Warner Bros.
DATE: August 25, 2023
LOCATION: Burbank, CA
DRONES: 500

At this launch party, before the DC/Warner Bros release of Blue Beetle on streaming services, a 500-drone light show was used to create awareness about the upcoming film and to associate the new superhero with the legendary Batman character. This was accomplished by including the famed “Bat Signal” as one of the drone formations during the show.

CASE STUDY | One Piece Fan Event
CLIENT: Netflix Studios
DATE: August 24, 2023
LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA
DRONES: 500

The anime series One Piece has millions of passionate fans worldwide - and Netflix wanted to connect with them in a unique, organic way before it released its own live-action version of the IP. The drone light show at the One Piece premiere party was a chance to win these fans over and captivate and capture new fans. 

A strong connection was made between those in attendance and the One Piece universe - thanks largely to the detailed and accurate representation of characters and iconography from the series portrayed during the incredible drone light show produced specifically for the event.

Coming Attractions: The Limitless Possibilities of Drone Light Shows

The use cases of drone light shows in the entertainment industry you’ve just read about - and their benefits - are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to where this integration can go. It’s easy to envision many other ways drone shows can be used to generate excitement and engagement around the release of movies and shows:

OPENING NIGHT SPECIAL EVENTS

The biggest fans go to see a movie on opening night - in selected theaters, they can also buy a VIP ticket that includes movie admission, access to an afterparty with food, and, of course, a bespoke drone light show celebrating the movie’s iconography, stars, and more.

OUTDOOR MEDIA FOR FESTIVALS & UPFRONTS

Drone light shows can do everything from generating buzz around a project featured at a film festival to celebrating the nominated films for high-profile awards.

AR & MR INTEGRATION

Emerging technologies are already taking drone light shows to the next level - imagine what’s possible when a fan can view the show through their phone and experience immersive POVs, opportunities to engage with promotions, and other next-level exclusives made possible by the seamless integration of the technology and the drones. 

Welcome to the Future of Entertainment Promotion

As Hollywood studios continue to innovate in film promotion, drone light shows stand out as a cutting-edge tool that combines technology, art, and marketing. By creating unforgettable visual spectacles, these shows offer a new way to captivate audiences, create communal experiences, and generate excitement for upcoming streaming and theatrical releases.