Not A Bite Missing From ‘Sausage Party’

Supermarket food that think being bought is the equivalent of going to heaven. This is the premise for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s R-rated Sausage Party. Talking animated food doesn’t necessarily sound like a concept that would warrant an R rating. At first glance it looks like just another children’s Pixar film. However, it becomes evident fairly quickly that this is no film for kids. As soon as one hears the unmistakable voices of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig, it is clear it is going to be foul-mouthed, vulgar and utterly brilliant. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are pure genius, for more reasons than one.

Sausage Party

In an era that is largely dominated by disney reboots, sequels and remakes, this is the perfect sigh of relief. We finally have a truly original concept that addresses real issues in contemporary society and is still refreshingly entertaining. Distributed by Sony and Columbia pictures, it is the first animated film released by any of the major studios to have an R-rating since Trey Parker’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut in 1999. It’s a film conceived by the brilliantly disturbed minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. They tell the story of Frank (Seth Rogen), the hot dog, and his girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a rounded bun. They, among with their other supermarket friends are awaiting the day they are bought and taken home to the ‘great beyond’. At least until Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) finds out the real reason why humans buy food. This leads Frank to embark on a quest to discover the truth so that he can warn his fellow food friends. It’s an incredibly simple narrative that is carried by the subtle thematic undertones of religion, race, politics and existentialism through raunchy sexual innuendos, violence and profanity.

To no surprise, Sausage Party has been both a filmmaking and financial success. It exceeded expectations as it opened at US$33.4 million in the box office, and received an impressive 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. This profit put it a close 2nd behind the less than satisfactory Suicide Squad and broke the box office record for the highest ever grossing animated film in August.

Aside from a brilliant concept, a large factor to the success of Sausage Party has been Rogen’s creative use of marketing. He knew exactly who his target audience was and just how to get them. Generally a studio allocates roughly 12% of their marking budget towards digital promotion. Sony however, allocated almost half of their budget to online promotion.

Their target audience are perhaps the most difficult audience to secure. They are a group of millennial’s, who invest more time in digital media than anything else. They are so immersed in a society that is completely saturated by streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so taking a more traditional route for marketing could have potentially been catastrophic for the film had they stuck to television ads and billboards. Plus, marketing a trailer that is full of sexual innuendo’s and swear words would have been extremely difficult to do through censored platforms such as television. So instead, both Rogen and Sony embarked on a social media campaign. First they took it to Youtube, where they utilised Rogen, who joined Hannah Hart in her online series “Drunk Kitchen”. Then they partnered up with BuzzFeed Food on a series of prank videos that had Rogen voicing animatronic grocery items hidden in supermarket isles.

Sony later teamed up with Snap Chat as they celebrated National Hot Dog Day, allowing users to create their own sausage avatars, once again voiced by Rogen. By going directly to where their audience was (so to speak), they knew exactly how to capture their attention. The result has been evidently successful. Even prior to the release of the film, the trailer had an astonishing 182 million views, making it the most popular red band trailer in the studio’s history.

This is a magnificent moment for Rogen and Goldberg. There is no one else in the world who could get away with making a film about animated pantry items that make love to each other. They have capitalised on a medium that has generally been reserved for studio’s like Pixar and Disney. By making an animated film based on mature contents, they have opened up the possibilities for all filmmakers and animators. The positive response and success of Sausage Party suggests that there was a void in the market, and Rogen and Goldberg knew exactly how to fill it.

There has already been talk of a sequel to Sausage Party and the film has been in the cinema’s for less than a week. This dynamic duo have done it again!