Note: This article was originally published for the Influx Blog on 24th April 2017.
What persuades people to eagerly pre-book for some movies and boo the rest? How have people become fanatics of the Marvel universe, Fast and Furious, and The Mummy series?
A movie cannot be launched by releasing a trailer and then go MIA. Gone are the days of cheap Tumblr websites; people’s movie experiences have led movie marketers to go social. Movie marketers today are leveraging digital marketing trends to create a “buzz’ for their movies. Cross promotions, #FOMO, and viral and influencer marketing are some high-powered strategies that are driving movies to the box-office even before they are released.
Every movie that is made has a Facebook page. Marketers release movie posters, trailers, audio launch photos, press releases and wait for the audience to do the rest of their own accord. But these pages hardly get any attention or action from the fans.
2017 is seeing a few movies come up with some aggressive marketing campaigns:
While classic viral videos are the craze, the spoofs are crazier
Get Out, released in February this year, has inspired the #getoutchallenge that is raging on Twitter and Youtube. It started trending because of crowd-introduced spoofs while making the videos.The challenge is based on just one scene of the movie. Take a moment to digest that!
Exploiting the Influencer clout
Power Rangers has created nostalgic entertainment franchises for its television series, movies, and merchandise. For the third installment of the movie series, they took to influencer marketing. Recently, YouTuber iisuperwomanii (Lilly Singh, having 13 million subscribers) marketed for the movie that released in March 2017. She collaborated with RJ Cyler (Blue Ranger) and Becky G (Yellow Ranger) and gained more than 300,000 views for her video.
Kudos to a #FOMO that was done right
2.0, the much-awaited Enthiran’s sequel, starring superstar Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, launched its first-look event as a live video stream on Youtube in November last year and promoted it on its Facebook page, which has more than one lakh subscribers. Its marketers are engaging audiences by releasing posters and work-in-progress photos for a movie due to be released during Diwali in October this year.
Teasers with a twist and contests with a spin
Meri Pyaari Bindu is a Bollywood movie scheduled to release this May 2017. Its marketers have released five trailers as chapters on Youtube since April and managed to engage audiences with suspense. Its Facebook page has hosted a #BinduPulpArt contest, inviting artists to design a “Pulp Fiction” movie poster cover featuring the character, Bindu.
Online promotion for an offline event
Baywatch, based on the television series, is due to release this May. Starring the legendary Rock (Dwayne Johnson), and our very own Bollywood-turned-Hollywood – Priyanka Chopra, the movie has none of the former cast of the television series. The marketers ran a campaign on Facebook promoting the Baywatch slow-mo marathon held at Los Angeles on April 22nd this year.The winner’s prize was a trip to Miami to watch the Baywatch premiere. Fans can pre-book tickets through Snapchat and Instagram and receive exclusive goodies as well.
I remember the buzz created around movies pre-and-post release that drove me to the theatres within the first two weeks. So this is not about the three hours in the movie; it is about the promotional events, insider news, memorabilia, and fandom — a cultish cinema experience. Social media is ably nurturing these movie buffs.
Obviously, marketers ought to market aggressively and cash in on those social follows now! Not just create a Facebook page and snooze!