Digital Marketing of AvatarSo how did 20th Century Fox pull off what couldbe its highest-grossing movie of all time without the aid of a franchise, an A-list star or a historical event, created by a filmmaker whohasnt had a blockbuster ("Titanic") in 12 years?
Avatar Day: Aug 21st 2009• 100 IMAX 3D theatres worldwide showed 16 mins of footage from a new James Cameron film.• Ubisoft debuted a trailer for a videogame based on the film.• Mattel unveiled action figures inspired by the film’s characters.• A day earlier, the teaser trailer for the film broke a record on Apple.com after being streamed more than four million times on its first day. “August 21 was celebrated as "Avatar Day." Today, it should be remembered as the dawn of the most comprehensive digital marketing campaign ever developed to support a film.” How Digital Marketing Helped ‘Avatar’ Break the Box Office - PBS
Social Networking• Facebook: used to build connections and conversations with close to 1.3m fans (On December 3, MTV.com put together a Facebook- hosted and LG-sponsored webcast called "Avatar Live". James Cameron, producer Jon Landau, and stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana were interviewed by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz, but the questions were submitted by Internet fans in the days leading up to the event. This 30-minute interview was one of the most effective Hollywood webcast to date.)• Myspace: close to 800k friends (also broadcast the red carpet moments which occurred before the premiere).• Twitter: over 25k followers (according to Sysomos, a social media analytics firm, Avatar was the most talked about film on twitter in Jan 2010) (some were ‘tweet to listen’ so fans had to forward the tweet in order to hear the movie soundtrack – sneaky!)• YouTube: close to 11m views• Flickr: over 1m photo views• TypePad (blogging): close to 4k members
Official WebsiteVisitors have access to more than just trailers, images& background materialThe website offers:• 14 side-scrolling square boxes that showcase many of the digital initiatives that make this movie stand out.• the story• character bios• the music• wallpaper downloads• create your own Avatar• opportunities to contribute content and showcase interest in the film (including Pandorapedia, a wiki for all things "Avatar," and a blogging community (which includes photo caption contests and timeless topics such as "Why Are Avatar Aliens Blue?").)And just as humans destroyed the Hometree in pursuit of self-interest and wealth, thefilms homepage had its own destructive moment in mid-August when fans crashedthe site while trying to secure free tickets for "Avatar Day.“
“Earlier this year , Mark Pickavancepenned a piece on this site where he arguedthat the secrecy surrounding Avatar was gettinga little tiresome. I saw his point, but for oncewas quite enjoying the fact that every facet of amajor motion picture wasnt been rammeddown our throats, to the point where it felt thatId seen 20 minutes of it before I walked into thecinema (Im looking at you, Harry Potter).”Avatar: The Marketing Plan that’s Backfiring? – Den of Geek
• Websites who linked to the Apple.com hosting site for the official trailer were sternly asked to remove the content with an official letter from Fox. Odd isn’t it, considering the mass army who fled to Apple.com to view the trailer made the site crash under so much demand. How would they spread the word?
Interactive Trailer• Showcases the Stimulcam & Fusion 3D cameras• Integrated social media feeds• 11 points of interaction that provide one-click access to each character• Includes 3 options to purchase tickets• Designed using Adobe AIR platform –it’s more fluid and constantly refreshed.
Augmented Reality• Mattel created Avatar toys that buyers could activate and bring to life through webcams and special product tags, while Coke Zero produced custom cans that opened up the world of Pandora at AVTR.com Previewed at Comic-Con International
How Augmented Reality technology works…“Each action figure, vehicle and creature in the productline will come with a 3-D web tag, called an i-TAG, whichconsumers can “scan” using a home computer’s webcam.Scanning the i-TAG will reveal special content onscreenunique to the corresponding product. Exact contentvaries for each item, but could include biographicalinformation, additional images and animated models ofthe figures. When the i-TAG for deluxe figures, vehicles orcreatures are placed under a webcam, animated 3-Dmodels will “come alive” through engaging, evading ordefending moves. Place two i-TAGs from the “Battle Pack”together and the 3-D images will interact with eachother.” From Mattel Inc.
Blu-Ray & DVD• Another interactive trailer which links to Amazon so you can purchase it for home consumption.
“It stands to reason that box office blockbusters like this oneare deserving of a superlative digital marketing campaign,equal in creativity to the product itself. Rich media has fastbecome the default selection when whats called for ismaximum impact. Whats interesting about the strategy for"Avatar" since its initial campaign is how - whether its highprofile creative and targeted media buys, or user-driven socialmedia - interactivity is front and centre. Digital media isntthe movies; we cant expect our audience to tolerate apassive ad (let alone enjoy it), and we certainly cant expectthis timid approach to generate any online word of mouth.Webcasts, Twitter contests, interactive trailers…this is the kindof digital media consumers respond to now, and "Avatar" hasnailed it with its cross-platform campaigns. Not every admust be interactive to the extreme, but some productswarrant nothing less - especially when their meaning ofsuccess means something just a little bit more.”Avatar Nails Digital Marketing, Again - ClickZ
Past Paper QuestionsFor each one you are provided with resource material and have the choice to answer one of twoquestions. Choose your question and work on an essay plan to create your answer.• How important are film franchises for producers and audiences? (Jan12)• What can be done to attract bigger audiences to UK films? (Jan 12)• ‘The current revolution in technology is changing the way both producers and audiences think of film and the film experience.’ How far do you agree with this statement? (May 11)• ‘Neither producers nor audiences need stars any more.’ How far do you agree with this statement? (May 11)• How important is film marketing in attracting an audience? (Jan 11)• What are some of the issues for UK producers and audiences in Hollywood’s domination of the UK film industry? (Jan 11)• How do independent films sometimes achieve success? (May 10)• How far are new technologies changing the way audiences watch films? (May 10)• What are some of the key factors which influence the kinds of film that get made today? (Jan 10)• What are some of the ways in which films from the past are made attractive to contemporary audiences? (Jan 10)