Blogs, bulletin boards, forums, and chat rooms have been around since the inception of the internet. Essentially, some form of social networking has been here as long as the internet has. It just keeps changing., icq, Geocities, and AIM were cool in the mid-1990s, but so were a lot of other things. Through the end of the 90s and early 2000s, sites like Sixdegrees, Friendster, and Livejournal became the preferred social networking sites. For a few years after its 2003 launch, Myspace was the place to be for social networking with friends. It mimicked the more popular features of Friendster and gained significant traction among teens and young adults. The number of Myspace users peaked at 75.9 million in December 2008, eight months after being overtaken by Facebook in worldwide users.

"Hackers" featured characters who relied on the internet to gain information about people.

“Hackers” featured characters who relied on the internet as part of a corporate extortion conspiracy.

The social media landscape continues to evolve. Just look at Facebook was when it began and what it is now. Originally limited to Harvard students, then college students, Facebook is now open to members age 13 and older with a valid email address. Since Facebook expanded beyond college students in 2006, it has grown to a site that now has 829 million daily users. The social networking site totals 1.32 billion monthly active users and 1.07 billion mobile monthly users. As social media has grown, so has the use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices that make keeping in touch with your social network extremely easy, no matter where you go.  Smartphone penetration is growing, with over two-thirds of mobile subscribers in the U.S. them.

Ten years ago, those numbers were probably hard to imagine, even for the most advanced internet marketing. Society has become extremely reliable on instant gratification. The access of having everything in an instant is a necessity for most people. This relates to their social networking needs as well as overall engagement. Being aware of these trends benefits companies looking to remain engaged with what consumers want. Brands and companies will continue to implement social networking into advertising plans, as will film studios when promoting releases. Besides using social media to promote films, studios also implement current social media trends in films. As social networking continues to evolve with society and technology, it will be interesting to see its use in future film releases as well. Almost everyone is familiar with the film “The Social Network,” but this post features other prominent highlights of social media in films.

Released in 2012, "Disconnect" featured Facebook and social networking bullying.

Released in 2012, “Disconnect” featured Facebook and social networking bullying.

For this week’s trailer, “Boyhood” is featured. I plan on seeing this film very soon. It  took over twelve years to make, as it followed the main character from age 5 to age 18. Just as it’s been intriguing to watch social networking evolve, it will be extremely intriguing to watch this person evolve throughout the  film. It looks like an amazing piece of filmmaking by director Richard Linklater.



Nielsen. (2014, February 22). How smartphones are changing consumers’ daily routines around the globe. Retrieved from

Smith, C. (2013, October 06). By the numbers: 13 myspace stats and facts then and now. Retrieved from

Smith, C. (2014, August 22). 155 amazing facebook user & demographic statistics. Retrieved from


Viral marketing has been effective with several different types of marketing campaigns. “Breaking Bad” is my favorite television show of all time; I was hooked on the show since season one. Therefore, it was exciting to me when the show’s network, AMC, came up with a potent digital marketing formula to promote the show’s final season. It promoted brand awareness while encouraging loyalty and fan engagement. It also incorporated several characteristics of a successful viral marketing campaign including videos, humor, interactivity, social commenting, and social media optimization.

The network combined a variety of techniques to hype up frenzied fans by engaging with them in several creative ways. Fans produced several parodies and tribute videos such as these:

As you can see, humor was also incorporated into some of the videos. A clever app encouraged Breaking Bad addicts to answer questions, share pictures, and quotes from the show through the #bbaddict hashtag. With such a loyal following, the show inspired a lot of quality graphic design and fan art. AMC embraced it as part of their marketing campaign by setting up a Tumblr to promote it while encouraging social commenting. This also encouraged interactivity among fans. A tell-tale sign of a campaign going viral is the number of memes and gifs present on the web.

There are over 26 million Breaking Bad gifs on the internet.

There are over 26 million Breaking Bad gifs on the internet.

Breaking Bad has over 26 million gifs and 13 million memes dedicated to it (Sellars, 2013.) The viral and fan created content came in every variation on the internet as it also came by way of infographics, character accounts for social media pages, blogs, and microsites created by AMC all helped promote the show while creating a large community for the fans to share their love for the show.

The Clothing on Breaking Bad Is a Clue to Understanding the Characters

The Clothing on Breaking Bad Is a Clue to Understanding the Characters as shown in this infographic 

Breaking Bad’s success has led to a spin-off series called “Better Call Saul.” Fans of the Saul Goodman character will be pleased to know that AMC has already began marketing the prequel, with a real billboard in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Robinson, 2014.) If you use the number listed, you can actually call Saul too. It will be interesting to see what other methods of viral marketing AMC will use for the new series.

A billboard that can currently be seen in Albuquerque, NM.

A billboard that can currently be seen in Albuquerque, NM.

Since it’s been a while since my last blog post, you may be wondering if a trailer will be featured at the end of  the post. Well, there is still a trailer attached to each post. This one looks like another promising film with a moving story heavily focused on music. As a parent, it looks like they’re may be some sad, touching scenes. However, as a Shameless fan, I’m anticipating some crude humor courtesy of first time director William H. Macy. It could also potentially be another music centric film starring Billy Crudup, akin to Almost Famous. Below is a trailer for the upcoming film entitled “Rudderless.”


Robinson, J. (2014, July 23). You can actually call saul in the new better call saul marketing campaign. Retrieved from

Sellars, J. (2013, August 12). The ‘breaking bad’ digital marketing formula. Retrieved from

Promoting films through social media can be precarious. The social media marketing campaign can almost make or break a film prior to its release. While it’s more of a precursor of things to come, as social media was in its infancy, the film that comes to mind when thinking of the power of the internet is “Snakes on a Plane.” The film had a straight-forward title which also told the storyline and served as a logline. It became big news on the internet as message boards hastily went up and creativity ensued creating a cult following months before the Samuel L. Jackson film was released. Fans created a wide array of humorous art and memes, which included parodies and lines (clean version) fans anticipated would be in the film’s script. All of this attention caused mainstream media to take notice, as The New York Times covered the story, and “Snakes on a Plane” shifted the way Hollywood films were marketed to audiences. The film didn’t quite live up to the hype, as people expected it to be a big blockbuster and it grossed $62 million worldwide. Now, it’s looked at by some as a warning to remember to not let internet buzz massively influence a film prior to its release and letting that buzz about the film reach its apex too soon.

One of the many pieces of "Snakes on a Plane" fan art.

One of the many pieces of “Snakes on a Plane” fan art.

Social-networking has changed since “Snakes on a Plane,” and so, too, has the way studios market their films using social-networking. For example, the marketing team of Universal Pictures got extremely creative with its “Despicable Me 2OOH campaign. It employed digital screens throughout shopping malls that invited consumers to control and personalize the on-screen advertisement using their smart phones.  The interactive campaign covered the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Norway. It starred the Minions and was conceived by Clear Channel and powered by an app built by Grand Visual. The engaging interaction took place when consumers sent texts with commands and their names, then watched as the Minions acted out the instructions. Users were then sent a text which allowed them to share their personalized film via social media. An online version which could be shared on social media was also supported throughout the campaign.

As the first “Despicable Me” film was a huge hit, most mainstream movie audiences were probably aware of the sequel leading up to its release. However, more social media apps are popping up that are intended to turn film fans on to new film options. They also stimulate fans into going to theaters. One such app is TrailerPop, which is a unique discovery service that uses film trailers in a trivia game. It is fun to play, but also engages fans and highlights trailers which are perfect hybrids that entertain consumers and advertise films for studios. Film fans with higher scores are usually highly engaged, but what is especially powerful about TrailerPop is the social aspect as friends can challenge each other in multi-player mode.


Awareness of new films will still be created in the traditional ways – there will continue to be teasers and trailers attached to feature films at theaters, as well as TV/billboard advertising. However, social media campaigns and mobile apps are honing in on the personal interests of consumers, putting them in context, and changing the way films are marketed.

The OOH Campaign of “Despicable Me 2” was cleverly executed and truly showed the potential multimedia campaigns have. It showed the impact mobile apps can have on a marketing campaign and while taking place in a common place while being different and innovative. Universal and their marketing partners set the campaign apart from the other films being marketed at the time. While the majority of film fans probably enjoy watching trailers, TrailerPop created a new approach for film marketing that keeps fans involved while allowing them to learn about new films. Both companies differentiated themselves in different, strategic ways.

This week’s trailer is for a quirky looking film called “Frank.” It stars Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal and tells the story of an enigmatic band leader who gets the opportunity to play the heralded South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas.  It looks promising for both film and music lovers.


BoxOfficeMojo. (2014). Snakes on a plane gross. Retrieved from

Walker, R. (2006, November 12). A turn of phrase. Retrieved from

West, G. (2013, June 18). Universal pictures promotes despicable me 2 with pan-european interactive ooh campaign featuring the minions. Retrieved from

There are several different ways to approach blogging. Everybody’s got a special kind of story. Like with just about everything else, there are many routes to take to get to the same place. While everyone may not get there the same way, the goal of blogging is relatively the same. Everyone wants to get readers, entertain them, and get them to come back to read your blog posts again and again. Hopefully, those readers will tell two friends. And they tell two friends. And they tell their friends. And so on.

You get the point. Everyone wants to grow the number of readers they have and, in order to do that, you must keep the readers you have entertained.  The following practices are some of the best methods to help your blog succeed.

Come up with a great headline – One of the fastest and easiest ways to grab the attention of a reader is with a great headline. This does not just pertain to blogs, but printed media as well. Many bloggers struggle to come up with a clever headline that draws readers in. That doesn’t need to be the case. Some of the same headlines have been around for decades, just with different subjects. How familiar do these attention grabbing headlines sound?

  • How safe is your (thing) from (threat)?
  • Get rid of (recurring issue) once and for all
  • The Shocking Truth about (blank)
Within the film industry, using a film title that a director or actor is know for can create an effective headline.

Within the film industry, using a film title a director or actor is know for can create an effective headline.

Besides the headlines that are based on a celebrity or recent tragedy, most of the headlines appear over and over again. The subject is the only thing that changes. Save yourself some time and borrow headline structures from the pros for your blog.

Do research – Write from experience or do loads of research while compiling content for your blog posts. First-hand experience is always helpful, but not always possible. Therefore, interesting information can be obtained in other ways. Seeking out feedback and answers from experts is a great route, as is quoting experts to shape your articles and blog posts. If you unbox or review items, experiment with the product you are reviewing and put them through tests. Share what you learn through these tests in your blog. Since someone else may feel differently about the same item than you, feel free to cite magazines or other reviews that may give a different perspective. No matter the subject, a nice combination of world-class examples, studies, anecdotes, and personal experience will go a long way. Two blogs that are known for providing thorough hands on reviews are DC Rainmaker and

Be yourself Don’t try too hard to make your writing sound good. You’re writing a blog, not a dissertation for your PhD in chemical engineering. Of course, you want your writing to be coherent and you still want to check for typos. But, don’t worry about writing well. Instead, worry about the content in your posts and what you’re trying say. Let your personality be a part of the blog, focus on the overall theme of your blog, and keep your readers entertained. Like this:

It’s important to have perseverance – Several bloggers give up shortly after starting a blog, because they may feel they don’t have as many followers as they had hoped for or that nobody is reading their blog. It’s important to remember that even the most popular blogs – the blogs with millions of followers like The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Perez Hilton, Deadspin, etc. – started off with the same followers as you. Therese Walsh of Writer Unboxed recommends: “I’m not sure who said that the difference between an unpublished and published writer is perseverance, but I believe it……This may seem like a crazy process-write, learn, rewrite. But in the beginning, it may be the best way to produce quality work. You must have something inside of you that says write, learn, rewrite, don’t quit, repeat.”

Promote Intelligently – No matter the product, the biggest thing is the marketing and promotion of that product. It’s just as important as the content, so you must understand your audience. In 2013, comedian, entrepreneur, writer, and filmmaker Amy Rubin started her own web series, Little Horribles. She states “I think there are ways to be sustaining other than ad sales. We’re in a place right now where people will pay for what they like with either a paywall or by paying for a service that curates this type of content.”

No matter the route you take to get to end result of your blog, do your research, be yourself, and keep writing.

Life Itself,” is the film featured in this week’s trailer. It’s a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of the famous film critic Roger Ebert. It looks funny, sad, and powerful all at the same time. He’s someone who had a tremendous cultural impact for decades by bringing film criticism to the masses and is now the subject of a film. I can’t wait to watch this film. Let me know what you think of the trailer and feel free to suggest some other documentaries you may have enjoyed.

Dholakiya, P. (2013, June 20). How to blog (even if you can’t write). Retrieved from

Jaksch, M. (2011, April 19). 10 tips for writing excellence from top writing bloggers. Retrieved from

Knoblauch, M. (2014, May 24). 4 pro tips for creating your own web series. Retrieved from


Robocop 2014

Social media marketing can be tricky when promoting a film. It can be the source of bad buzz for a recently released film, preventing audiences from paying to watch certain movies. A few bad tweets or Facebook status updates can spread quickly, leading to unwanted negative attention for a film. There are also other risks in social media marketing campaigns. In addition to negative reviews and feedback, a social media campaign can simply be handled poorly by the marketing team. Using social media as a promotional tool can be great for business and really help promote the release of a big budget film. However, a plan needs to be in place of what’s going to be said and the marketing team needs to make sure the channels are put to use after they’re set up.

Memes can always help.

Humorous memes can always help a social media marketing campaign.

Sony Pictures recently released an updated version of the 1980s futuristic action movie and cult film “Robocop.” The film’s official website greets visitors with two clearly visible links to the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the new film. It makes sense for the marketing team to use the two most common social media platforms. What doesn’t make sense is how poorly they used these resources. With a February 7, 2014, release date I would think the social media pages would be all about posting pictures of premiere events and links to promotional appearances and interviews the cast did throughout the months leading to the official release date. Unfortunately, the most recent post on the official Facebook page was made on November 27th. Here’s what it looked like.

Posts like these get a muli-million dollar film's page a whopping 58 likes.

Posts like these get a muli-million dollar film’s page a whopping 58 likes.

It’s possible that the marketing team has focused more of their attention on the Twitter account and that’s why the Facebook page is so shoddy. Not every post can always be the most intriguing or attention grabbing for a big budget film, right?  Well, the Twitter account’s most recent post took place on January 24th. Again, with the release a couple of weeks away, it would make sense to post promotional appearances the cast has made. Videos could be posted that show the cast excited about the film, discussing why people need to go see the film, what’s different about this version, and why it’s worth paying for a ticket. Maybe engage with fans a little by asking them to tweet favorite lines and scenes from the original Robocop. Pictures from the premiere would be a great way to bring some excitement to the social media marketing, as well as promote the film. At least remind people when the film is coming out and where they can go see it with a link to showtimes and ticket buying services! That’s a no-brainer in marketing a film with social media, right? Well, here’s that most recent post.

RoboCop Tweet


I think that marketing teams for films should find audiences early and connect with audiences through social media. Engaging with the audience in creative and interactive ways will allow studios to grow a loyal following for films, as well as gain valuable feedback. From the aspect of a film lover, I believe that the information and data which is learned via social media should also be shared with creators of film.

When a film stars an actor such as Joel Kinnaman, well-known for playing Stephen Holder on AMC’s “The Killing,” the marketing campaign needs to capitalize on his potential.  I mean, look at the range of this likable Swedish actor:

For this week’s trailer, I will remain with a film that seems to appear to take place in the future and feature a theme of saving humanity. Christopher Nolan‘s upcoming film, “Interstellar,” looks amazing. Hans Zimmer has also done his score again, undoubtedly providing a thrilling soundtrack that will complement the film perfectly. In addition, it stars Matthew McConaughey, who I have recently changed my opinion on as a result of his work on “True Detective.” Hopefully, it will leave fans feeling like he did when he won his Best Actor Ocscar. Alright, alright, alright.

Republic Project Logo

When it comes to movie studios promoting films, for every two dollars spent making a film, another dollar is spent on marketing or four billion dollars per year. Typical film promotion includes trailers in theaters, TV advertisements, billboards, and promotional appearances by actors across the media. While these methods create a level of awareness of the films being promoted, other factors drive people to buy tickets. These factors are usually encompassed in validation of a film’s worth that comes from professional reviews, recommendations, and buzz about the film. Social media has played a big role in transforming this validation process.

With more and more people frequently using mobile devices and social media, film studios have increased targeted buys on social channels. IAB reports that 42% of United States smartphone users under the age of 35 now check social media apps before deciding on which movie to see. The marketplace is clearly changing and, as a result, new trends in film marketing have emerged. One mobile social media application that drives business in film marketing is Republic Project.

Republic Project is a social rich media company. With the growth of social media in recent years, film studios have increased targeted buys on social channels. However, their posts are usually one-dimensional when it comes to engagement. Republic Project’s rich media allows for multiple engagements from a single post, maximizing the efficiency of media buys on social channels to decrease the cost per engagement. This makes Republic Project stand out in the world of social media. It truly delivers an interactive cross-platform user experience that gains exposure for a film in a seamless, simple, and successful way which stays with customers no matter where they are (social networks, across the web, or on mobile).

Republic Project provides a cross-platform user experience.

Republic Project provides a cross-platform user experience.

Republic Project uses a simple, unified distribution process. After an advertisement is published, it does not have to be touched again. However, a campaign can be modified at any time with the cloud-based content management system. Once a campaign on Republic Project begins, multiple variables of it can be tracked and monitored with an in-depth analytics dashboard. The number of clicks, click-through rates, views, interactions, and purchases can all be viewed and are sorted by custom date ranges. The dashboard is used to correlate messages and theme designs to gauge user response and hone the message of the campaign.

Edge of Tomorrow

The Warner Bros. film is in U.S. theaters June 6th. The film also stars Emily Blunt.

Tom Cruise’s new film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” is currently integrating a successful campaign with Republic Project. The SOCIALFIRE Pro unit allows Warner Bros. to share videos, live streams, social feeds, animations, and sweepstakes directly with their fans on Facebook and Twitter without them ever having to leave their newsfeed.

Since I’ve already brought up “Edge of Tomorrow,” here is the trailer for the film. While I’m not the biggest fan of films with such large budgets, it seems to have a decent story. An added incentive is that one of the screenwriters, Christopher McQuarrie, wrote the 1995 crime classic “The Usual Suspects.”


IAB. (2012, September). Iab and inmobi mobile movies survey. Retrieved from

McGlade, A. (2013, December 27). Cracking the code for film marketing. Retrieved from

Republic Project. (2014). Republic project . Retrieved from

Anchorman 2

The film industry uses just about every platform of social media. Prior to a film’s release date the production company introduces a fan page, often through a Facebook page focusing on promoting the film’s plot, cast, and release date. Oftentimes, a company will release photographic stills on this page of the cast and crew while filming is taking place. The photos section of the Facebook page as well as the film’s IMDB page will feature pictures that get fans excited about the film. Analytical tools similar to Addvocate and Komfo also serve as useful marketing tools to measure the promotional team’s techniques. They will provide insight of the public’s desires and interest in the film. Similarly, Twitter can be used to keep track of trends related to the film. While it’s common for production companies to use social media as a large part of their marketing campaign to promote films, perhaps no film has been promoted more on social media than Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Prior to its release in December of 2013, it was promoted in a way different than those before it. In more ways than one, its presence was felt online. Paramount struck the deepest movie partnership to date with Tumblr. Over 50 videos were produced and promoted online. The campaign also encompassed taking over The Huffington Post. On top of those strategies, Paramount asked people from around the world to audition for positions on Ron Burgundy’s news team in a YouTube competition called “Join Ron’s News Crew.” Each member of the film’s news crew also had dedicated Twitter handles. Web videos of the tryouts were promoted via the film’s website and Ron Burgundy’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Google +, and Pinterest pages. There were also an abundance of ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo. Below is an example of a Ron Burgundy tweet.

Global-marketing issues often arise when dealing with comedy, as it is subject to cultural sensibilities. As a result, the film team created customized videos dedicated for far-reaching markets like in the United Kingdom and Australia. Paramount studied their social data and saw how the videos and memes (more memes) performed in real time. By doing this, they were able to see what the fans were interested in and promote accordingly.

Let Me Off at the Top

The “Let Me off at the Top” book tour featuring Ron Burgundy.

Anchorman 2’s social nature inspired some unusual—and highly creative—partnerships. Will Ferrell appeared in character as Ron Burgundy is several commercials for the Dodge Durango. Similarly, Burgundy was also a guest on Conan O’Brien’s late night show. In addition, he interviewed modern day celebrities such as Peyton Manning and Eminem. He also went on a book tour to promote his autobiography entitled “Let Me Off at the Top.” Most likely, Anchorman 2’s approach will inspire copycats. There’s definitely more social business to be had out of the film industry. Studios’ attitudes toward social media continue to evolve, as they should. After all, social media is kind of a big deal.

In the character of Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell interviewed celebrities like Peyton Manning.

In the character of Ron Burgundy, Will Ferrell interviewed celebrities like Peyton Manning.

As for this week’s trailer, I am including one for  “Cold in July.” The thriller stars Michael C. Hall, known to many for his eponymous role in “Dexter.” For those disappointed with how that series ended, this looks to have potential. It will be interesting to see this movie, as well as what tools its studios implement for promotional purposes. The U.S. release date for “Cold in July” is May 23, 2014.


Heine, C. (2013, November 24). Will ferrell’s anchorman 2 is changing the way movies are marketed. Retrieved from



Aside  —  Posted: May 4, 2014 in Marketing and Films
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Here are some useful social media tools to help you get more out of your marketing.


Addvocate: This useful tool solves the social media problem of having to decentralize your messengers. Often, the collective employees within a company have more social connections than the company does for its official social media pages. As a result, companies need to find convenient ways to ask employees to occasionally share company information on their personal accounts. Through Addvocate, employees install a browser plugin which enables them to receive content recommendations from a centralized marketing team, while also enabling them to recommend content to the marketing team and fellow co-workers. The marketing team then receives detailed statistics showing which employees share content on social media, how many clicks, and engagement actions each employee generates and more. Within the film industry, writing and creative teams can use this as a platform to help brainstorm ideas. Casting and location scouts can also communicate and track ideas of who to cast as well as budgets for potential shoot locations. Addvocate is really easy to use and very user-friendly. It’s also just a few dollars per month, so it can serve as a great social media tool that improves teamwork within the company.


Komfo: This is a great free Facebook page analytics tool. Komfo provides analysis with additional help to allow you to analyze your Facebook content based on several analytics such as:

  • Fan penetration: A figure that shows what percentage of your fans you’re reaching with each post. This will let you see an average from your last 30 days’ post .When promoting a film, this is extremely useful as you want to reach your intended market. Films have official Facebook pages to promote their releases, so this is a great way to analyze your target market.
  • Viral Amplification: This analytic allows you to know the viral reach of each of your posts as compared to its organic reach. Can be extremely useful to see what kind of word of mouth a film is getting.
  • CTR: This is a click-through ratio for each post as a percentage of how many people saw the post
  • Spam Score: An unfortunate part of social media is that there is always some amount of negative feedback. Discussions about films on the internet can become extremely emotionally heated and confrontational. Some users may be unhappy with a studio’s choice of actor for an upcoming super-hero movie. Well, this analytic conveniently shows the ratio of negative feedback as a percentage of total clicks.

Komfo also includes a tool called “People Talking About This,” which are called “Stories,” as well as overall Reach. Without Facebook authorization, there is also the ability to send an email allowing others access to your report online. This makes the tool extremely useful for large teams such as film production and marketing teams.

At the end of each of my posts, I will attach a link to a trailer for a film I either recently watched or would like to watch soon. Here is one for a film I really look forward to watching titled “Locke.”

Aside  —  Posted: April 27, 2014 in Marketing and Films
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