4 Essential Marketing and PR Elements of a Chick Flick

03/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As a connoisseur of the chick flick, having sat down to watch Gone With the Wind at 13 (goodness knows how many times since then), having relished in insomniac theatre-ish repeats of Clueless on TBS, and Two Can Play that Game on BET, having had to save a day and half's worth of lunch money to go see Mean Girls, and having analyzed How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days down to the credits, and more recently not shutting an eye until I had seen 13 Going on 30 when it came on in the wee hours of the morning the other day, I think I can just pin-point the ingredients that make a great chick flick.

Let's see how many of those essential ingredients of the Chick Flick stew have been thrown in the Confessions of a Shopaholic pot:

1. A Cute, Relatable Star.
Isla Fisher is certainly recognizable. Fisher has been in everything from surprise hit Wedding Crashers to 2002's Scooby Doo. But the uh-oh factor in that is that both of those movies, the ones with the most visibility on her filmography, were ensemble cast fares.

One of her most recent movies Horton Hears a Who, was an animated Dr. Seuss fare where she provided the voice of Dr. Mary Lou Larue behind the scenes. So, can Isla bring the bacon home sans other big-name co-stars? As New York Magazine writer Mark Graham sneered,

...We're actually kind of interested in seeing if the wildly charismatic Isla Fisher can actually carry a movie on her own.

Whether she will or won't is still debatable, but Touchstone Pictures/Disney already has Fisher on the Great PR Way jibber jabbing left and right in women's magazines and newspapers overseas, and definitely tapping the sensibilities of young women.

Element: Pretty much present in the pantry.

2. Based on a Novel, Preferabbly Chick Lit.
In that regards, Confessions of a Shopaholic is a winner. The Sophie Kinsella book on which it is based was a runaway bestseller that has spawned sequels after sequels since its original publication. It's gone in every format from paperback to gift sets. Books turned into films bring out the film critics in all of us, and there's nothing that bookworms like to do more than take a flashlight along with said book with to a movie theatre so they can compare book passages with screenplay lines. And then there's the instant familiarity factor.

Another welcomed factor of this chick flick ingredient, is that at times the author of the book may even be in the promotional mood too, as is apparently the case with Sophie Kinsella who's doing appearances at a Barnes and Noble prior the movie's opening. It also helps that Remember Me? her latest novel was published less than 6 months ago, enhancing synergy.

There's the inevitable book movie-tie in, whose cover-- conventional wisdom dictates--should display the movie's cast. Usually the new cover is nothing more than a still of a memorable scene from the movie or the actual movie poster.

Either way, the re-edition of the book is supposed to bring back memories in the book's fans (it has indeed been a while) and rile them up to see the movie. On the other hand, for those who haven't read the book, the reissued edition (Confessions is from Dell and placed on bookshelves in mid-December and with an official January pub date) is supposed to pull them in the theaters and make them fans of the book.

Element: Superbly present.

3. Pajama Party/Female Bonding Potential.
Fashion, shopping, finances, men are without a doubt women's top conversation tickers. If your chick flick can inspire women to come together for some self-analysis then it definitely has this ingredient on lock. Confessions of a Shopaholic has University of Nevada student newspaper The Rebel Yell contemplate on fashion addiction spending.

4. Girly Contest Friendly.
Female moviegoers want the ultimate movie experience. And you gotta give it to them. They must somehow feel as if they're living what the protagonist of the chick film is experiencing. So, you've got a madhat shopper in your movie? Give the audience some shopping ops.
In addition to the shopaholic contest being orchestrated by some ABC affiliates, behemoth movie chain MuviCo is holding a Dress Up contest for women only at one its Palm Beach, Florida locations. Winners get shopping sprees.

Eprize is also involved on the contest side, via its $5,000 Guilt Free Splurge Bluefly Shopaholic Poll & Sweepstakes, which consists of four total drawings. Now there's a contest that's viral. Each entrant has the option of entering a friend's email address preferably a person with whom the entrant has "an existing relationship". For her generosity in referring her bosom buddy(ies), the entrant gets additional chances to win the contest. If that doesn't encourage female comradeship, what will?

Yet another contest that's being conducted on behalf of the movie is a Grand Prize Pact contest. Here's a sample of the bait:

Enter here for your chance to win a fantastic Confessions of a Shopaholic "Passion for Fashion" Prize Pack!
One Grand Prize Winner Will Receive the Following:

*A Brand New Nokia Supernova 7510 T-Mobile phone (Winner will receive a coupon for the Nokia Supernova 7510 phone that can be redeemed online [not in store]). Click the pic to check out this gorgeous phone:

*A Paige Denim $300 Gift Certificate (The Paige Denim gift certificate valued at $300.00 can only be redeemed online [not in-store]).

What crazed fashionita would resist the urge to enter?

Element: Oh, yes!

These are the elements of a chick flick. Don't make yours without them!

This article originally appeared on the site