Studio Ghibli, renowned for its creative and thoughtful storytelling, has made a surprising decision concerning its upcoming film release.
The eagerly awaited ‘How Do You Live?’, directed by legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, will be hitting the theaters without any trailers or conventional promotional marketing.
In a bold move that diverges from the typical Hollywood-style promotion, the only advertising will come from a single mysterious poster, already released.
The decision to forego the traditional marketing playbook is not just a strategy for Studio Ghibli but a bold artistic choice.
Producer Toshio Suzuki, a long-time collaborator with Miyazaki, shared insights into this unusual strategy in a recent interview. He explained that the team was seeking a fresh approach and wanted to challenge the routine practices of over-promoting a film before its release.
Instead of promoting the film like everyone else, they decided to allow anticipation to build naturally among their dedicated fan base and the broader cinema-going public.
“How do you live?” expected to be Miyazaki’s final directorial work, draws its inspiration from the 1937 Japanese novel ‘How Do You Live?’ by Genzaburo Yoshino.
It’s a coming-of-age story centered around the emotional and philosophical journey of a young boy coping with his father’s death. As expected, the plot details and characters are tightly under wraps, leaving much to the imagination of waiting audiences.
Why There Will Be No Promotion?
During the interview, Producer Toshio Suzuki drew a comparison between their unique approach and that of a contemporary American film that is releasing at the same time.
He pointed out that releasing multiple trailers, as is common, can sometimes disclose most of the plot, resulting in a diluted experience for the audience. Studio Ghibli’s tactic, by contrast, relies on cultivating curiosity and imagination, in line with the studio’s long-standing tradition of preserving the ‘magic’ of their storytelling.
The decision to restrict promotional efforts to a solitary poster was affirmed by a compliment from Miyazaki himself. According to Suzuki, Miyazaki’s approval of the poster played a significant role in solidifying their plan.
Ever since the announcement of ‘How Do You Live?’ in 2017, fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting its release. The film has a deeply personal backstory for Miyazaki, as he has previously stated it’s a film he’s making for his grandson, a symbolic “legacy” to leave behind as he steps back from filmmaking.
“How do you live?” movie is set to hit Japanese theaters on July 14, 2023, with international release dates still to be announced.
With no trailers, teasers, or typical promotional material in sight, this unusual strategy is sure to heighten anticipation for the film while underscoring Studio Ghibli’s commitment to originality and creative storytelling.
This new approach may seem unorthodox to many, but perhaps it’s a return to the core essence of movie-going, allowing audiences to enter the theater with fresh eyes and open hearts, ready to be swept up in the magic of the story.