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Marketing a movie

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Marketing a movie

  1. 1. MARKETING A MOVIE What can you do to make your film a hit?
  2. 2. What is marketing? What is marketing? Marketing = advertising Successful marketing involves getting as many people as possible interested and excited in your product. Reach = the potential number of people targeted e.g., more media platforms advertised on = bigger reach.
  3. 3. What is marketing? STRATEGY CREATIVE Trailer, POS, Print, TV/Radio, Interactive RESEARCH NRG, FAME, TGI PROMOTIONS Licensed, Media, Retail, exhibitor MEDIA Budget, targeting TV, press, radio, outdoor, Interactive PR Online / Offline MARKETING
  4. 4. Successful marketing campaigns Successful marketing campaigns result in large viewing audiences and therefore, make their production and marketing budget back. A marketing campaign is successful if a profit is made. In Hollywood only 25% of films released actually make a profit (rule of thumb). Again, rule of thumb is that a film needs to make three times its production budget in order to make a profit.
  5. 5. Marketing budget A huge amount of time and effort goes into the marketing of a film; this is for many reasons but a pivotal one is that marketing a film effectively costs a lot of money. In 2007, the average cost of marketing a Hollywood movie was 50% of its production budget (Josh Friedman, LA Times). For example, a film that cost $70m to make would have a marketing budget of $35m making the total cost of the film $105m.
  6. 6. How do you ensure success? In order to market your film successfully, you must look at how you are going to market it. Look at the marketability of the film; • Does the film have an exploitable theme? • Is the cast/director of interest? • Is it a genre movie? • Will reviews matter?
  7. 7. How do you ensure success? Marketability: If you can find some key selling points or unique selling points(USP) then you can push them on the potential audience.
  8. 8. The marketing strategy • WHAT – is the film? – defining genre. What similar films have been released? Is it commercial, arthouse? - Positioning (image or identity of the target market for the product) • WHO – will it appeal to, who is the Target Audience? • WHEN – Timing is everything • HOW – do you make your Target Audience aware of the film. How do you make them want to go and see it?
  9. 9. WHAT is the film? (genre & positioning) Who is your target demographic in terms of gender (common sense generally prevails) FEMALE  ----------COMEDY----------  MALE Romance Period Suspense Horror Crime Action Sci Fi
  10. 10. WHO is the target audience? - Are they men/women? -What is their social position? -What age are they? -What is their media consumption? -What do they do (occupation)?
  11. 11. WHEN? • When – is the best date for the film’s release? • When – can/should the marketing start? (phasing)
  12. 12. HOW? • How – do we raise awareness and interest? • How – do we establish what trigger points there are?
  13. 13. What next? Once you have answered all of the above questions, you can begin creating. There are numerous platforms on which you can market your product and each has the ability to entice a potential consumer in a different way.
  14. 14. Marketing platforms • Online • TV • Cinema • Radio • Press • Magazines • OOH (out of home: posters, billboards, busses, etc.)
  15. 15. Cinema posters and trailers The first visual materials for a film are usually a poster and trailer. These are often referred to as teaser posters and trailers. Why?
  16. 16. Other promotional material Teaser trailers and posters can appear up to a year before the film is due to be released. For Hollywood films, regular or full posters and trailers appear anything up to six months before the films planned release. Trailers are shown in cinemas, on television and online and posters are exhibited in cinemas, on busses and around cities/towns (OOH).
  17. 17. Other promotional material Online marketing has proved a valuable tool for specific markets and for specific films. For example, films targeted at younger audiences would be best suited to online marketing as a younger audience member’s media consumption may be primarily from online sources.
  18. 18. Online marketing Other online marketing includes; • Roadblocks • Pre-rolls • ‘Superheaders’ • Homepage takeovers • Competitive targeting
  19. 19. Interactive marketing Interactive marketing is used in a similar way to online advertising and potentially appeals to ‘techie’ people. Interactive marketing includes; • Official websites • Social media fan groups • iPod apps and games • Downloadable content • Mobile content and gaming.
  20. 20. TV spots TV spots promote the film at opportune moments. • Extensively researched • Spots cut for specific programmes/audiences • Weight of TVRs (television viewer ratings)
  21. 21. Promotion – the potential Ideally, if marketing a film, you would aim to promote over every avenue available; • Licensing • Third parties • Retail • Media • Screening Programmes – Word of Mouth • Online • Exhibitor • Film Education
  22. 22. Word of mouth Word of mouth is the most powerful tool when promoting a film and no matter how much money you throw at advertising, if the buzz is bad, it can bomb the film. Smaller budget films and independent productions don’t have the money to reach as many people as Hollywood does. Therefore, they must market the film cleverly to create a buzz and get people talking about it. The Blair Witch Project (1999) had huge viral marketing.
  23. 23. Successful marketing cont’d. So, how can you ensure that your marketing campaign will be a success? What can you do to create a good buzz and positive word of mouth? market research and test market material In market research, informal feedback is (generally) not used.
  24. 24. How to use market research Pre-production stage • The studio gets an idea of how a concept is received. This can happen by requesting a research agency conducts an online survey. • The survey may include questions on familiarity and engagement and how popular certain actors are (Tom Cruise is HUGE in Japan). At this point, it is still just a concept.
  25. 25. How to use market research Post-production • Test screenings (several) are held • Marketing materials are tested • Positioning is decided/discussed
  26. 26. How to use market research Release date looming • Monitor awareness and interest in seeing the film. Has it shifted? • Should the distributor look at re-positioning? • Release dates can be moved as a result of research e.g., of competition with other films.
  27. 27. How to use market research Released • Exit polls – handing out questionnaires in screenings and finding out what is the reaction? What were the hooks? • This can be used if re-positioning is looking likely. • It is possible for half of a film’s revenue to come from DVD sales so information from exit poles can aid in marketing DVDs.
  28. 28. Utilising word of mouth Getting people to talk positively about your film is a sure way to guarantee ticket sales. How can it be achieved?
  29. 29. Key areas for word of mouth Test screening of the film • In regular cinemas with regular cinemagoers from a wide age and socio-economic range. • Attendees are given a questionnaire after the screening. • A focus group is held by the researcher(s) and sometimes the distributor, director and producer will sit in behind.
  30. 30. Key areas for word of mouth Test screening cont’d. • Looking for; • Pacing issues • Humour (laughter moments are recorded) • Does the ending work? • Areas of confusion • The results can affect changes (and cause friction between the director and distribution company). • The test screening leads to a next day debrief.
  31. 31. Key areas for word of mouth Material testing Trailers and posters are also tested in the same way the full film is. Monadic testing is the term used when marketers ask audiences to test one product and review it individually. Monadic testing may include questions like; • What is this film about? • Would you watch it? • What would you like about it? • Is there any suspense in the material? • Is it recognisable but also unique?
  32. 32. What next? Once the test screenings and materials testing is complete, distributors can then look at what they can do to maximise audiences. For example, if a film has tested particularly well to females, what can they do to draw in males (secondary audience)? Or, if a film is primarily targeted at kids (primary audience), is there anything in the film that can be pushed to cross-over and appeal to adults? e.g., Shrek.
  33. 33. Marketing: audiences In Hollywood audiences are placed in one of four categories; • Younger males (25 and under) • Younger females (25 and under) • Older males • Older females This is known as the ‘four quadrant’ format. A film that appeals to each of the four quadrants is likely to make more money as more bums will be on seats.
  34. 34. Some key points / trivia • Critics still hold a bit of power over audiences • A large scale test screening, to 400 people, costs around £10,000 (booking a screen costs £1000) • Horror test screenings have entry criteria • Market research is all very confidential - don’t let the competition know that you’re flogging a dead horse • Spielberg doesn’t tend to test his films
  35. 35. Marketing: Donnie Darko Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) was positioned as a horror movie even though it is a fantasy. Audiences were drawn in with the horror element because it was more relatable.
  36. 36. Sources Unless otherwise stated, information adapted from; • ‘Inside Audience Research’ Lucy McDonald (seminar, 2011) • ‘Star Trek, Marketing a Blockbuster’ by Deborah Sheppard, Marketing Director at Paramount Pictures UK (2009)

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