It started as a graphic novel titled The Coldest City; Focus Features turned it into the glossy, pulsing, neon spy spectacle Atomic Blonde – an action-packed showcase so big that Universal Studio’s marketing arm stepped in to help handle the release. They, in turn, called on us to deliver the amped up social campaign, filling feeds with a synth beat that confirmed Charlize Theron’s place in the pantheon of action stars.
Strategically, we looked to position the film to a broad audience, pulling them into a period piece that felt vibrant and fresh, into a spy thriller without a shred of musty dossiers or grey trenchcoats. We started with action, leaning into an instant classic fight sequence. Content then expanded from stunts to tout critical raves, bring in the supporting cast and paint the narrative, taking care to keep Charlize relatable. We also created a socialized microsite in partnership with the It Gets Better Project to empower fans, both with an #IAMATOMIC sharable and by helping to generate donations.
The net result was a crushing hit for Focus Features, as Atomic Blonde delivered their fourth highest debut weekend ever. And with an audience make-up nearly split M/F (51%/49%), hitting the female empowerment angle hit the mark as well.
Atomic in Action
Super Spy Supercut
This minute and a half supercut served up an atomic blast of action – introducing her skills, showcasing intensity and style, all driven by a pulsing 80s soundtrack. Fans soaked up this quick hit of violence, sexiness and dry humor, making it the top-performing organic post on Facebook in terms of Reach.
Video Views: 78,440
Words to Live (and die) By
Original motion pieces set the framework for the mission about to go down. Every day brings its own challenges; and every person brings their own threat. Mining the hard and fast syncopated beat raised expectations along with the intensity.
High-energy snapshots (as if being surveilled) call out the different roles played by key figures in this secret mission, establishing that no one is just as they seem. In addition, disruptive units on FB reinforced the theme of breaking the rules.
Our UGC-generating “Atomic Me” microsite invited fans to imagine themselves as empowered as the title character; users personalized the key art with a descriptor (in place of “Me”) then shared it by using the hashtag #IAMATOMIC.
The site launched in partnership with the It Gets Better Project, generating donations in support of the LGBTQ youth community while driving awareness of the movie title. For every customized photo shared with #IAmAtomic, Universal donated a dollar to the IGBP with a goal of $10K.