Oh Reno….such an easy target.But what I really like is:
That’s why I want to discuss: E-Marketing in the Film Industry
What are the current marketing trends in the industry? Television advertising usually accounts for 70-75% of a film’s marketing budget. However, people are generally more engaged on the Internet, and are spending more and more time online each year.
So why don’t studios spend more time and money on E-Marketing?
Here’s how they could reach their films’ target markets:
The industry could eventually suffer if it doesn’t make agreater effort to market a wider variety of films. E-Marketing is the most logical way to do it
But what’s wrong withcurrent industry trends? I’m glad you asked…
People are getting tired of the oldpredictableThey want to be surprised at thetheater with creative, exciting, andoriginal films. But….
These films are struggling…Too risky to finance an original film with nopre-existing fan base or recognition.When one is financed, little $ is spent onmarketing it in order to minimize risk.Therefore, the film will most likely gainlittle awareness, perform poorly at the box-office, and eventually be forgotten.
So studios are putting most of their marketing $$$ toward sequels and blockbusters
They need to make sizable marketinginvestments on smaller films as well, in orderto give them a chance at the box-office.If $50 million is spent to market a $150million (budgeted) movie, but only $5 millionis spent to market a $15 million movie, can’tyou only expect 10% of the awareness ofthe larger movie??? The proportion is thesame, but the effect won’t be.
If a film is great and canresonate with people, don’tworry about its low budget orcommercial prospects. Spendthe time and money and spreadthe message.
In 2008…The rights to a certain film were purchased by WarnerIndependent Pictures and later transferred to Warner Bros.The budget of the film was a miniscule $15 million.It sat on the shelf for a long time and wasn’t released.Warner Bros. didn’t think it would do well at the box-officeand planned for a straight-to-DVD release. The DEATH KISS for a film.Fox Searchlight Pictures later made a deal to buy 50% ofWarner Bros.’ interest in the movie and split distributioncosts.The film was finally screened at film festivals and was givena limited theatrical release on November 12, 2008.
Slumdog Millionaire and win Including Best Picture Academy Awards
So…it’s possible.If studios make the effort to market theiroriginal and well-made low-budget films,they will realize greater profits than theywould by only focusing on blockbusters,and the public will regain a more positive opinion of the film industry.
By utilizing E-Marketing strategies, a studio’scampaigns will become:Less ExpensiveMore CreativeMore EngagingMore SuccessfulMore Diversified
Does CRM Pertain to Film?YES (in a different way than in most industries, but yes)Target market engagement is key. Getting the target market involved. Creating relationships, excitement, and anticipation.“Recognizing a customer’s role” is the first rule. Paying attention to where they are and what they want. Establishing a system of 2-way communicationRetain the customer’s interest even after the film hasleft theaters.
People are loyal to franchises, directors, actors, etc.Creates a basis for CRM.Case in point:
A great example of online CRM in the film industryStar Wars is a brandCustomer (fan) loyalty is critical“Expanded Universe” includesbooks, videogames, TV & radioshows, etc.Starwars.com includesmovie/show/videogame info, ablog, a store, an encyclopedia,featurettes, clips, links to fansites, and more.Major presence on onlineforums and various sites.
It can be very beneficialOther franchises such as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potteralso employ effective online CRM strategies“Pottermore” is an exclusive online club for Harry Potter fansthat gives them access to previously unreleased material andallows them to purchase Harry Potter e-books.These are high-profile examples, but any film can implement anonline strategy through sites, blogs, forums, games, socialmedia, etc., that allows them to retain customers and get theminterested in movie products or other films from the samestudio, franchise, actor, director, or writer.It’s all about ENGAGEMENT.
Viral E-MarketingA Useful Trend and Invaluable Asset for Studios
Viral E-MarketingEngages customers on awhole new level.Uses the Internet to rapidlyspread informationCreates discussion betweenfriends.Crosses cultural boundariesand draws media coverage.
Some films have used itsuccessfully, but only arelatively small number
Paranormal Activity$15,000 budget.Shot in 7 days in the director’s home.Films this small almost never make it to theaters.Owned and distributed by Paramount and Dreamworks SKGFilm had no hype prior to production, no recognition for thedirector or actors, an unknown concept, and no fan base.Ended up grossing $193.4 million worldwide and spawningtwo sequels.HOW???
A Brilliant Viral e-Marketing Campaign No generic horror trailers or traditional online display ads. Videos/trailers released on various sites and online communities that showed the effects of the movie, not just clips from the movie itself. People screaming People claiming they weren’t able to sleep “The scariest film I’ve ever seen” comments Midnight screenings in college towns (target market) An Eventful page that allowed people around the country to “demand” the movie be screened in their city. Paranormal Activity was screened in those markets and attracted even more hype. Excitement, anticipation, and social media FRENZY
Viral E-MarketingThe most dynamic way to engage customers.Creates an unprecedented level of excitementand anticipation.Results in enormous box-office success ifexecuted well.So what should studios be doing?
Studios should be focusing more on original ways toreach their target marketsonline instead of spending so much time and moneyon television and print ads.
Founded in 1999Over 2.2 million unique visitors monthlyCollects and posts reviews for every film from filmcritics and journalists around the country.Each film has a “Tomatometer” score, which is the %of positive reviews that the film received.Over 60% is “Fresh”, under 60% is “Rotten”If a film has over 40 reviews and its Tomatometerscore is greater than or equal to 75%, it is “CertifiedFresh”.
The go-to site for movie reviews and opinions.Can make a film marketer’s job very easy or verydifficult.Can significantly help a film generate great word-of-mouth and lead to incredible box-office success.Can also practically destroy an entire campaign andnegatively influence others’ opinions of a movie.Needs to be closely analyzed and monitored by filmstudios during marketing campaigns.