Posts Tagged ‘Film’

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


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