- Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is promoting the DVD and digital release of "Bohemian Rhapsody," the blockbuster biopic about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, with a singalong skill for Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant. From Jan. 22 to Mar. 31, U.S. fans can say "Alexa, play Ay-Oh Live" to recreate the experience of echoing Mercury as he sang at Live Aid in 1985, per an announcement.
- The movie studio also urges fans to share videos of themselves performing the "Stomp, Stomp, Clap" opening of Queen's stadium-rock favorite "We Will Rock You" on social media. Fans can either re-post an official video from YouTube or create their own "Stomp, Stomp, Clap" video with the #StompforQueen hashtag. Fox will donate $100,000 to the Mercury Phoenix Trust charity to support HIV/AIDS initiatives.
- Fox also has outdoor activations including a Rock Like Queen Tour Bus that will drive around New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, leading up to the DVD release on Feb. 12. Fans also can enter a contest to see a live Queen tribute at the Whiskey A-Go-Go nightclub in Los Angeles.
By adding an Alexa skill to its marketing mix for the DVD release of "Bohemian Rhapsody," Fox can help to deepen engagement between the biopic and Queen fans. The film, which has been a darling of this year's awards season, has introduced the British rock band to a new generation of music lovers almost 30 years after Mercury's death from complications related to AIDS. "Bohemian Rhapsody" has grossed $774.3 million at the box office worldwide, making it of one the top 10 films of the past 12 months, per Box Office Mojo. The Alexa skill — along with the social initiative and OOH activations — could add to that with DVD and digital sales of the film.
Fox is among the media companies that have added voice platforms to their marketing mix in the past few years. Universal Pictures last year rolled out an interactive audio adventure on Alexa devices for its latest "Jurassic World" movie. Netflix promoted the premiere of "Lost in Space," a reboot of the 1960s sci-fi series, with an interactive audio game on Google Home smart speakers. HBO created its first Alexa skill for its "Westworld" series with an interactive choose-your-own-adventure game.
The growing popularity of smart speakers in U.S. households is likely to bring more voice-activated experiences from major media companies as they promote movies and TV shows. Smart speaker ownership last year jumped 36% to 53 million U.S. adults, according to a survey from National Public Radio (NPR) and Edison Research. About 21% of U.S. adults said they owned a smart speaker, such as an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod.