'Blades' rides a new wave

It's Radar, where subs can share content on phones

NEW YORK -- DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures have teamed with Tiny Pictures Inc. for a film promotion that allows users of its Radar video- and picture-sharing service to view real-time images from DreamWorks' upcoming comedy "Blades of Glory" on their mobile phones or PCs and to instantly share that content with their network of friends -- along with their own commentary.

It is the first film promotion for Radar, which claims to be the only service that allows the instant sharing of camera-phone videos and pictures among a user's selected group of friends, creating what it calls a new kind of social network.

"The reason we're excited to do this promotion for 'Blades of Glory' is that we have so much great viral video for this film," said Amy Powell, senior vp interactive marketing at Paramount. "For us, the ability to extend our viral videos beyond just the Internet to cell phones and other downloadable devices is really important."

"Blades," a figure-skating buddy comedy starring Will Ferrell, Jon Heder and Amy Poehler, opens March 30.

Powell said the Radar promotion is attractive to Paramount because it "exponentially grows" the studio's content-distribution platform. "The extension to mobile is what makes it really exciting to us. As fans view the content, they can comment on it, rate it and send it to their friends, extending our distribution arm in real time."

Through the Radar promotion, users of the service can opt in to view outtakes from the movie, clips, in-character interviews, production stills and other content. New content will be released daily until the film bows. "Blades" viral videos also are being made available on thousands of viral-video Web sites, but Radar does have some exclusive content, Powell said.

"This movie is just rich with hilarious viral content that our fans are just eating up. This is a movie with huge comedic talents," she said, adding that the filmmakers -- understanding the importance of viral video to marketing the film -- have been "incredibly generous" in providing movie-related content to online and mobile audiences.

Tiny Pictures CEO John Poisson said the Radar service is valuable to Paramount as well as other advertisers because users are choosing to view and engage with the content.

Added Ian Jeffrey, director of street marketing for Radar: "We all know brands are looking for new ways to reach consumers who have become immune to advertising, and we strongly feel this is a very powerful way to reach them."

Poisson declined to say how many subscribers Radar has but said the number of users is growing by about 50% a month. The service, which launched last summer, is hoping this is the first of many promotions. "We feel any kind of brand could use Radar to promote their products," he said.

In keeping with the film's buddy theme, Radar users also can submit their own pictures and videos of "dynamic duos" to enter to win a "Blades" prize pack, including autographed memorabilia from the film.