Clever Movie Marketing for District 9

District 9 is a star-free, rather original looking science fiction movie being released (ominously) in August, 2009. While watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday, I visited the washroom. Here’s what I saw on the door:

Great Marketing for District 9

I haven’t gotten around to calling the number listed at the bottom of the sign, but I’ll do so and report back on what I hear.

What’s ingenious is the poster’s location. It’s the rare bit of unused real estate at the cinema. The only downside is that if you’re like me, and going to the bathroom during a film, you’re unlikely to stop and read the poster.

Wikipedia shows a similar billboard version of this poster in Toronto. The associated article has a write-up on other aspects of the film’s marketing campaign.


  1. “Non Humans have escaped from District 9. Press 1″

    To speak with an NNU representative please press 0”


  2. Clever?

    That’s a bar sinister, not a bar dexter. The Toronto ads call everything a “bus stop” even when it’s a streetcar stop or the interior of a subway station. And really, isn’t that the kind of illustration you could produce with the drawing tools in MS Word 97?

    We would then discuss the typography.

    You too can improve your design discrimination, Darren! Today is a good day to start.

    1. Actually, I’d defend the design. It feels very like a the sort of poster a government might hastily create.

      However, the design matters much less than the concept, which is clever. Much like the movie’s trailer, it turns old racist notions on its head.

  3. That’s a great marketing idea!

    I’m with Darren on this one, I think it is pretty clever. And I like the design on it.

    Agreed: It’s a great idea to put it in movie theatre bathrooms.

  4. I love campaigns like this, it reminds me of the Forgetting Sarah Marshall posters. I do have to mention something though:

    > if you’re like me, and going to the bathroom during a film, you’re unlikely to stop and read the poster.

    Sir, you not only stopped to read, but also to photograph and then blog it. It’s working nicely!

  5. In addition to the posters, the marketing for this film was quite inventive in general.

    At my day-job, we followed the advance campaigns closely which including a site which asks you to enter as human (allowing unrestricted browsing) or as alien (with many blocked out areas).

    The studio also created websites for the fictional business who operate the apartheid camps as well as sites to protest against said fictional business and sites for “alien rights” orgs.

    At the recent Comic-Con, Peter Jackson and director Neill Blomkamp talked about the low -budget (by studio standards) and how they had no choice but to be creative with both production and marketing tactics.

    Incidentally, the film’s director Neill Blomkamp was born in South Africa but based here in Vancouver. He’d be great to invite to Northern Voice ;-).

    Here’s an article (insert symbol for disclosure) to video of Blomkamp and Jackson at Comic Con:

    And another about Blomkamp’s original short film “Alive in Joburg”:


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