Social media abuzz with sherlock holmes sequel


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The real-time nature of social media ensures that the word about a motion picture is spread beyond geographical boundaries, even before it is officially released in the country.

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Social media abuzz with sherlock holmes sequel

  1. 1. Social Media Abuzz with Sherlock Holmes SequelSocial Media Changes the Way Movies are PromotedUnderstanding the importance of promoting their movies online, production companies are taking to social media withgreat enthusiasm. Instead of leaving all the talking to the fans, the modern movie maker has taken to the digitalspace, right from pre-release phase. Looking back at some of the recent examples, including the Harry PotterFacebook page and the official Twitter handle for the Twilight Saga, it is evident that today’s movie makers considersocial media marketing as a vital aspect of their promotional strategies.The Social Side of Sherlock HolmesThe first part of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, released in 2009, changed the way the popular fictional character wasperceived among fans. While critics felt that Ritchie had gone a little too overboard with the too modernized, toostylized version of Sherlock Holmes, fans were quite opposite in their opinion. This was evident in their discussions onpopular social media sites and blogs. Let us look at how the Sherlock Holmes series has played out in the online spaceso far: Warner Brothers partnered with TweetDeck to promote the 2009 release of Sherlock Holmes. Following the release of the movie on 25th December 2009, the official Sherlock Holmes website was opened up to fans. Visitors could watch trailers, order DVDs online, and get movie updates and information about the actors on the site. The official Facebook page, which had been launched to publicize the first part, now features interesting snippets, trailers of A Game of Shadows, and discussions by excited fans. The page currently boasts +2,020,000 ‘likes’. The official trailers for Sherlock Holmes as well as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows have been made available on YouTube. The sequel, however, has garnered more hits than the previous film. As part of the social media promotional strategy, the @GameofShadowsUK Twitter handle was created. Besides including links to interviews featuring the likes of Guy Ritchie, Sherlock followers were also treated to various contests on Twitter. The release of the sequel saw the mushrooming of several blogs. The bloggers discussed everything from the plot to the new ‘bad guy’ in the movie, Professor Moriarty, played by Jared Harris.Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: The Social Media BuzzResearch conducted by the Brand Monitor™ Team at Position² (for the time period between 19th November and 19thDecember 2011) shows that the conversation volumes spiked on 7th December (2,070). This was followed by 2,002conversations on 8th December.© Position2, Inc. 1
  2. 2. Contrary to expectations, the volumes on the date of the US and UK release (16th December 2011) amounted to1,793; while significant in number, we had expected 16th December to register the maximum buzz.Top Media Mentions Breakdown and Sentiment Analysis Further analysis shows that blogs, at 31%, accounted for the highest buzz. Besides discussing the story-line and characters, bloggers mostly compared the sequel with the first part. This was followed by Twitter at 23%. The popular hashtags used were #SherlockHolmes, #SherlockHolmes2, #GameofShadowsUK, #221B and #Moriarty. While sifting through the conversations, what we noticed is that a number of tweets talked about how the latest Sherlock Holmes movie fared against Mission Impossible 4 at the box office, which hit the cinemas a few days earlier. Despite boasting +2,020,000 ‘likes’, Facebook, however, accounted for the least buzz at 6%. Brand Monitor’s Sentiment Analysis chart indicates that most of the conversations (76%) were neutral in tonality. The discussions were centered on the release dates, star cast and plot. Some people were undecided if the second part were better than the first. At 20%, the positive conversations ranged from fans calling Jared Harris in his role as Professor Moriaty as ’simply brilliant’ to describing the movie as ‘awesome’. Conversations that were negative in sentiment were a negligible 4%.© Position2, Inc. 2
  3. 3. Demographics Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows registered highest buzz in the USA, at 57%. This was followed by the UK, which accounted for 25% of the conversations. This was unsurprising, considering the fact that USA and the UK were one of the few regions where the movie was released the earliest. We were not surprised to see that the 51-65 (13%) age bracket was not as active in their discussions pertaining to the movie. This, in our opinion, could largely be because of the fact that the older demographic was not entirely convinced by Guy Ritchie’s depiction of Holmes. They were more inclined to perceive the character as originally sketched by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The 20-35 age group appeared to have no such problems. More open to change, they better received the ‘new Sherlock Holmes’ and accounted for the highest discussions at 36%. While 68% of the posts and discussions were by the male population, women accounted for 32% of the conversations.© Position2, Inc. 3
  4. 4. ConclusionUnlike before, when the buzz surrounding anticipated movie releases was largely restricted to the offline media, it isnow possible for movie makers to predict how a film is likely to be received by monitoring online conversations muchbefore the official launch. The real-time nature of social media ensures that the word about a motion picture isspread beyond geographical boundaries, even before it is officially released in the country. In the case of the recentSherlock Holmes movie, for instance, audiences in countries outside the UK and the USA have a fair idea of what toexpect, although the film will only release a few days later in these regions. What we are also eager to see is how thelaunch of the movie in non-US and non-UK countries will impact the conversation volumes, especially the demographicdata.The above analysis also highlights one important aspect of promotion via networking channels; i.e., the number ofFacebook ‘likes’ does not always translate into volumes. While Sherlock Holmes fans were enthusiastic in ‘liking’ thepage, they preferred other channels to carry out their discussions. With the holiday season in full swing, we believethat this could be one of the factors for increase in online buzz. As seen above, after the first week of December, thevolumes steadily increased, with the exception of a few days. Considering the fact that Christmas is fast approachingand the New Year is ’round the corner, people have more time to discuss the movie; which means an expectedincrease in buzz over the next few days. The latest Sherlock Holmes movie is an example of the important role socialmedia plays in both the pre-launch as well as the post-launch phase. Fans exchanging opinions and discussing themovie on every popular networking site out there means box office charts are no longer the only indicators of amotion picture’s success in today’s times.© Position2, Inc. 4