Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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


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.”