The rise of online video services like Netflix have decimated the home video industry, but Twentieth Century Fox is hoping to counteract that trend by using the power of the Internet to its advantage. The major film studio launched a campaign where it gave select YouTubers access to sets and props from X-Men: Days of Future Past in exchange for videos promoting the film’s DVD and Blu-Ray release.
According to Variety, Fox invited the participating YouTubers to shoot their videos at its studio lot in Century City. While Fox employed a mostly hands-off approach to the collaborations, it did offer up several iconic props, including Professor X’s wheelchair, Wolverine’s claws, and Magneto’s helmet-and-cape combo.
The YouTubers who are involved in the project come from all over the world. Participants include RocketBeans TV from Germany, That’s So Nathan from Australia, Esto Es Combo from Mexico, Favij from Italy, Banjomovies from Holland, and Megwin TV from Japan. Megwin has already posted its contribution to the project, which includes lots of X-Men puns.
Fox’s project is similar to previous ones used by studios to promote upcoming films. For instance, Legendary gave Godzilla props to video creators at YouTube Space LA. YouTube Spaces helped launch the Days of Future Past campaign too, but there are two key differences here. For one, the videos were shot at Fox’s lot because Guillermo Del Toro’s Halloween-themed filmmaking contest is occupying YouTube Space LA. More crucially, this is the first time a studio has brought in a group of YouTubers to promote a home video release rather than an upcoming theatrical debut.
Fox believes the endorsements from YouTubers will mobilize young viewers who would otherwise ignore Days Of Future Past‘s home video release. “The old ways of doing things are shifting and people are finding that younger audiences want to be served a story or content in a different way so that they can be part of the story,” said Mary Daily, Twentieth Century Fox’s President and CMO of worldwide marketing. “Part of the appeal of YouTube is [viewers] are looking at people like themselves and they’re more likely to be influenced by their peers.”
Will Fox’s campaign actually convince YouTube viewers to pick up a physical copy of a film they can easily find online? We’ll have to wait until Days of Future Past‘s October 14th DVD and Blu-Ray release to find out.