Posts Tagged ‘Samuel L. Jackson’

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.

TrailerPop

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.

Sources

BoxOfficeMojo. (2014). Snakes on a plane gross. Retrieved from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=snakesonaplane.htm

Walker, R. (2006, November 12). A turn of phrase. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/12/magazine/12wwln_consumed.html?_r=0

West, G. (2013, June 18). Universal pictures promotes despicable me 2 with pan-european interactive ooh campaign featuring the minions. Retrieved from http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/06/18/universal-pictures-promotes-despicable-me-2-pan-european-interactive-ooh-campaign

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.