On December 19th, the third film version of Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis as the titular heroine, will arrive in theaters. In order to support its new movie, Sony Pictures has teamed up with Fullscreen. The network has tapped a handful of its creative partners for a series of cover versions of the musical’s iconic songs.
In advance of the film’s release, Fullscreen has highlighted three specific cover songs have popped up on YouTube. Max Schneider plucked out a version of “Tomorrow” on his signature ukulele while TeraBrite added a pop-punk twist to the upbeat strains of “You’re Never Fully Dressed (Without A Smile)”.
The song that has drawn the most covers, however, is “Hard Knock Life”. Over the past few weeks, several YouTubers have offered their own versions of the song. The most popular of those covers came from Tyler Ward, who provided a unique, soulful rendition for his 1.7 million subscribers.
The collaboration between Fullscreen and Sony Pictures is the latest example of a studio turning to YouTubers to promote its latest film. Over the past few months, we’ve seen the same sort of pre-release buzz related to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Interstellar, and The Interview. Film studios have historically targeted teenage moviegoers, and with these sort of marketing campaigns, they are focusing their efforts on the platform where those teens hang out en masse.
The Annie cover songs are a particularly natural way to integrate the talents of YouTubers into a movie-related marketing campaign. For Sony, this promotion has an added bonus as well: It doesn’t involve any leaked emails.